Alumni Steve Cousins Recognized as Legal Legend

May 28, 2024

Armstrong Teasdale alumni and former partner Steven Cousins has been selected by the Mound City Bar Association as their 2024 Legal Legend. The Bar Association established the award to thank and pay homage to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the St. Louis legal profession and have been historical supporters of African-American attorneys.

“Steve embodies the mission of the Bar Association and has long been a leader at Armstrong Teasdale,” said Armstrong Teasdale Managing Partner Richard Engel. “Steve has been a mentor and close friend for over 30 years. It is inspiring to see him continue to earn recognition for his contributions to the firm and the legal profession, particularly in support of other diverse lawyers.”

Cousins retired from the firm in 2018 after a storied 38-year career, and now provides consulting services as President and CEO of Cousins Allied Strategic Advisors, LLC. He attributes many of his achievements to his formative years at Armstrong Teasdale.

“As a young African-American lawyer, Armstrong Teasdale recognized the value I brought to the table,” said Cousins. “They not only provided me with leadership and advancement opportunities, but also placed trust in me. I am forever grateful to the firm and the mentors I had along the way, who are similarly legends in my mind.”

Cousins dedicated his entire career to Armstrong Teasdale, 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 was also recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top five African-American corporate bankruptcy lawyers in the country. Active in the community, Cousins is also founder and past co-chair of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation.

He earned countless additional accolades throughout his career, including most recently, 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). He was also recognized by Armstrong Teasdale in 2022 as the recipient of the inaugural Groundbreaker Award, bestowed during the firm’s annual Inclusion Week celebration. His mentorship extends to dozens of lawyers who remain at the firm today.

Cousins will be recognized at an induction ceremony on May 30, 2024, at Washington University School of Law.

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