Keeping family traditions

Mackenzie Stout is set to become the fourth in her family to graduate from Mizzou Law.

four people in a family photo

Mackenzie celebrates her undergraduate graduation with her parents David and Ann, and older sister Courtney, all of whom are Mizzou Law graduates.

Nov. 19, 2021

When Mackenzie Stout was nearing the end of her undergraduate degree in 2019, she had a decision to make. Did she want to follow in her family’s footsteps or cut her own path? As a senior at the University of Missouri, she had already completed one family tradition: attend Mizzou.

Both of Stout’s parents and her older sister earned undergraduate degrees from Mizzou and attended the MU School of Law.

While Mackenzie was considering law school as well, she wasn’t sure if she wanted branch out and go somewhere else, or stay in Columbia and attend the traditional Stout alma mater.

“I love Mizzou so ultimately the decision wasn’t too difficult,” said Stout.

Her decision is paying off. Stout, now a third-year law student, has already locked down her early career path. Upon graduating in May 2022, she will serve as a federal appellate court clerk for Judge Duane Benton on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Kansas City. In this position, Stout will assist Benton by performing legal research, while sharpening her legal writing skills.

“I’m very excited to work in such a prominent court and assist Judge Benton as he hears important cases across the Midwest,” she said. “It truly is an amazing opportunity that I cannot be more grateful to get to experience.”

After she spends a year clerking for Benton, Stout has already been hired by the law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon (SHB) in Kansas City to begin in 2023. She will work as a civil defense attorney for SHB.

Stout said she would not have been able to already achieve such exciting career opportunities without the support and training from the MU School of Law.

“The career services staff at Mizzou Law has been incredibly supportive, and all of my classes, all of my professors have thoroughly prepared me for my next steps,” she said. “All of my Mizzou Law training has given me the confidence to know that I can do the work once I graduate.”

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