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Armstrong Teasdale recognizes Steven Cousins with Groundbreaker Award

Steven Cousins

Armstrong Teasdale celebrated its annual Inclusion Week from Nov. 14-18 across its U.S. offices. Hosted by the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Department and more than 35 lawyers and staff firmwide who serve on the Inclusion Week committee, the week involves a robust schedule of programming and activities designed to immerse lawyers and staff in the importance of inclusion as a shared value firmwide.

The week’s activities included a keynote address from Dr. Steve Robbins, an inspirational speaker with an academic background in communication science, social psychology and cognitive neuroscience; an engaging discussion with Webster University Linguistics Expert Dr. DJ Kaiser; and an all-affinities mixer, which presented opportunities for lawyers and staff from diverse backgrounds to connect 1:1.

One of the marquis events of Inclusion Week is the opportunity to recognize lawyers, staff and alumni who emulate and model inclusion in their daily work, and demonstrate excellent client service and team engagement. Annual Inclusion Award winners are selected in four categories – Trailblazer, Inclusive Leader, Client Champion and Ally – after being peer-nominated.

The 2022 award program also introduced a new recognition – the Groundbreaker Award – presented to Armstrong Teasdale alumnus Steve Cousins, who retired from the firm in 2018 after a storied 38-year career. Cousins now provides consulting services as President and CEO of Cousins Allied Strategic Advisors, LLC.

“Steve has been a mentor to me, and so many others at the firm and in the legal profession,” said Vice President of DEI Sonji Young. “This recognition speaks to his character. Steve is a role model, and he endured at a time when there were very few African-American equity partners to look up to. We are so fortunate to have witnessed his many ‘firsts’ and incredible career trajectory at Armstrong Teasdale.”

Cousins dedicated his entire career to the firm, contributing tremendously to its history and success, as well as to the broader St. Louis community through his extensive civic and charitable service. Cousins was the first African-American lawyer at Armstrong Teasdale in 1980; the first associate to lead a department at Armstrong Teasdale when he created the Financial Restructuring, Reorganization and Bankruptcy practice area in 1984; the first African-American to serve on the firm’s Executive Committee, a position he held for 15 years; and among the first African-Americans in Missouri to be named to The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law, where he’s been ranked consecutively for over 20 years. He received a number of additional national awards including recognition from Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top five African-American corporate bankruptcy lawyers in the country and was considered a significant rainmaker and mentor while at the firm.

Cousins also recently earned the 2022 National Service to Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis for more than 20 years of dedication to the St. Louis Internship Program (SLIP). Cousins and Armstrong Teasdale were also recognized with the Capture the Vision Award for their longstanding contributions to SLIP.

“I thank Armstrong Teasdale for this recognition and its partners and leaders for their trust in me throughout my time at the firm,” said Cousins. “The tribute really goes to Armstrong Teasdale. They had the foresight to hire a young African-American lawyer and provide me, as an associate, with many advancement opportunities. I’m honored to be an alumnus of the firm.”

Additional Inclusion Week honorees include:


  • Shuba Anand, Paralegal
  • Allison Snell, Senior Marketing Coordinator

Inclusive Leader

  • Aubyn Krulish, Partner and Denver Office Managing Attorney
  • James Major, Of Counsel
  • John Willard, Partner

Client Champion

  • Richard Senzer, Recruiter – East Region


  • Monica Kriegel, Senior Marketing Manager – Lead
  • Jaimie Mansfield, Partner
  • Matthew Otey, Legal Assistant
  • Jana Shuster, Legal Assistant
  • Allison Snell, Senior Marketing Coordinator
  • Carly Stark, Litigation Specialist

The firm’s international offices in London and Dublin will celebrate Inclusion Week Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2022.

About Armstrong Teasdale: Armstrong Teasdale LLP has a long and distinguished track record of delivering sophisticated legal advice and exceptional service to a dynamic client base around the world. Whether an issue is global or local, large or small, Armstrong Teasdale provides each client with an invaluable combination of legal resources and practical advice in nearly every area of law. The firm is a member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms with locations in more than 125 countries, and the United States Law Firm Group, a network of 17 law firms headquartered in major U.S. cities. Armstrong Teasdale is listed in the Am Law 200, published by The American Lawyer, and the NLJ 250, published by The National Law Journal. For more information, please visit

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