Join Us for the
LAKC-YLS Annual Luncheon
Guest Speaker: Magistrate Judge Lajuana Counts
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Noon - 1:30pm
Lidia's Kansas City, 101 W. 22nd ST, KCMO
$350/table of 8
Reservations due by Thursday, July 18th.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri selected Lajuana M. Counts for the position of United States Magistrate Judge in Kansas City. She fills the vacancy left by Judge Sarah W. Hays, who retired on September 1, 2018.
Judge Counts was born in Jackson, Tennessee. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1982 and her law degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1988.
She began her legal career as a law clerk for then Missouri Court of Appeals Judge, Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. In 1989, she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, where she has served until this appointment. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, she served in the General Crimes Unit and in the Narcotics Unit. Most recently, she served as Chief of the Appellate Unit and has argued/briefed over 400 cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
In addition to her work for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she served as vice-president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s board of governors and president of the University of Missouri at Kansas City Law Foundation. She has also served on the Missouri Supreme Court Disciplinary Hearing Panel, the Missouri Bar Gender and Justice Committee, and the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness.
Over the years, Judge Counts has served on various committees and boards of organizations designed to promote and protect the interests of women and the underserved members of the community.
In 2013, she was named Public Service Practitioner by Missouri Lawyers Media Women’s Justice Awards.
In 2016, the Missouri Bar Foundation honored her with a Spurgeon Smithson Award, which recognizes judges, lawyers, and teachers of law who have “rendered outstanding service toward the increase and diffusion of justice.”
In 2018, she received the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s President’s Award, the Jackson County Bar Association’s Judge Lewis W. Clymer Award, and the NAACP Kansas City, Missouri Branch’s Lucile H. Bluford Special Achievement Award.
In 2019, Judge Counts was presented with the UMKC Law Foundation’s President’s Award.