Steven N. Cousins, an Armstrong Teasdale partner who helped break racial barriers for local African American lawyers, has received a Brotherhood Sisterhood Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis (NCCJSTL). The award recognizes leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion in the St. Louis community. Cousins was among those honored at the NCCJSTL awards dinner held on June 2, 2014.
The NCCJSTL works to promote understanding and respect among all races, religions, and cultures through its advocacy and educational programs that embrace diversity, self-awareness, and community-wide change. Operating continuously since 1930, it was originally founded as a regional office of the National Conference for Christians and Jews.
Also this week, Cousins was recognized as a 2014 Inspiring St. Louisan by the St. Louis County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Cousins was chosen because of his superior performance in law and for helping to make the region stronger.
A member of Armstrong Teasdale’s Executive Committee, Cousins is founder of the firm’s Financial Restructuring, Reorganization and Bankruptcy practice group. When Cousins was hired by Armstrong Teasdale in 1981, he became the firm’s first African American lawyer. He was named chair of the firm’s first bankruptcy practice in 1984 and became the first African American partner in 1987. Today, Cousins has a nationally recognized practice in the areas of bankruptcy, reorganization, and restructuring.
In addition to his bankruptcy practice, Cousins successfully represented former HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson in a three-year Department of Justice investigation that was closed without the filing of charges. This resulted in his complete vindication. Cousins also represented the national office of the NAACP some years ago when it experienced financial challenges.
Cousins has been listed for more than 20 years in The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law. He has also been named for many years as a Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyer, listed in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the country’s top five bankruptcy lawyers and recognized with the 2013 Trailblazer Award from 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis.
An active community leader, Cousins has served for many years as general counsel and an executive committee member of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. He is vice-chairman and board of trustees member of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and an honorary board of trustees member of the St. Louis Art Museum. He served as the initial co-chair of the St. Louis Internship Program, which gives new hope and direction to inner city youth. This program, which has been replicated in 38 other cities, has more than 3,300 alumni of which 98 percent have gone on to post-secondary education. Cousins is a co-founder and former co-chair of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation and a community advisory board member of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Center for Ethics in Public Life. He has served on numerous other civil boards, and participates in Special Friends Extended mentoring program, which serves the Jennings School District, founded by Holly Cousins.
About Armstrong Teasdale: Armstrong Teasdale LLP, with more than 250 lawyers in offices across the United States and China, has a demonstrable track record of delivering sophisticated legal advice and exceptional service to a dynamic client base. Whether an issue is local or global, practice area specific or industry related, 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 100 countries, and the United States Law Firm Group, a network of 18 law firms headquartered in major U.S. cities. Armstrong Teasdale is ranked 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 www.armstrongteasdale.com.