Founded in 1925, the National Bar Association (NBA) is the nation's oldest and largest association of African American lawyers and judges.


Pamela J. Meanes is a partner in Thompson Coburn LLP, the largest law firm in St. Louis. She was the first African American in the firm’s history to be elevated from associate to partner. Since joining the firm in 1996, she has represented clients such as Furniture Brands International, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Metro/Bi-State Development Agency, Monsanto Company, and many others. In addition, she played a significant role in the land acquisition for the extension of the MetroLink passenger rail system in Illinois.

Pamela received her formal education from the East Saint Louis Public School system. She has an earned: Bachelor of Arts in English and Education from Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL; Masters of Arts in African African American Studies from Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. In addition, she holds an honorary Doctorate in Divinity from the New Freedom Bible College. Pamela is the current President of the National Bar Association (NBA), having been sworn in as the organization’s 72nd President on July 31, 2014. In addition, she has served as Vice President of the NBA (2011-2013); Regional Director of Region VIII of the NBA (2007-2008 and 2009-2011); President of the Mound City Bar Association, a Missouri affiliate of the NBA (2006-2007); and co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation Legal Service Delivery Committee (2008-2011). She also serves Vice President of the Mound City Bar Foundation of Missouri. Finally, she is a former board member of the Greater East St. Louis Community Fund, Inc., Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and MERS Goodwill.

She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Award of Merit from the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis; the Saint Louis University Black Law Student Association’s 2008 Outstanding Attorney Award; the Washington University of St. Louis Black Law Student Association 2008 Outstanding Achievement in Public Service Award; a St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 under 40” recipient; selection to the Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly “Up and Coming Lawyers,” list; the St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Minority Business Leader; the YWCA Leader of Distinction Award; the Women of Achievement Award; the 2012 Sister to Sister Award and the 2014 Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly Litigation Practitioner Award. In addition, she has received numerous NBA honors including the 2013 Outstanding Officer’s Award; 2012 NBA Special Presidential award; 2012 & 2011 Women Lawyers Division Chair's Award; 2011 & 2010 Presidential award, 2011 & 2010 Region of the Year; the 2010 NBA Young Lawyers’ Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Award; and the 2007 Affiliate Chapter of the Year Award.

Pamela is married to Reverend Doctor William M. Meanes, Sr., and they have seven wonderful children: Wilson, Ciara, Kandia, William, Jr., Anointing, Aayannah, and Divinity.

>>> View President's Founders Day Message

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