Concordance Legal Fellow Honored in 2018 Class of “30 Under 30”

Concordance Academy Legal Fellow, Shelby Hewerdine, has been named one of St. Louis’ outstanding young professionals by the St. Louis Business Journal. The publication chooses 30 individuals every year to win a prestigious spot on the “30 Under 30” list. Shelby was nominated for her continued service to Concordance Academy.

After graduating valedictorian from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2016, Shelby joined Concordance Academy as the first Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner/Concordance Academy Legal Fellow. As a legal fellow, Shelby spends 50 percent of her time providing pro bono legal services to Academy participants who are returning to the St. Louis region after prison. The remainder of her time is spent on billable matters for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Through her work at Concordance, Shelby has had tremendous impact – most recently helping several program participants resolve pending cases without further penalties, freeing them to focus on important goals in the realms of education, employment, sobriety, and family.

I love the hands-on work I get to do with participants at Concordance. It has been amazing to watch the organization grow over my time as a fellow – being able to look back at the great success participants have had motivates me to keep innovating and working toward excellence in all we do with the Academy,” Shelby said.

Along with the new 2017 legal fellow, Shelby has worked hard to clear 183 warrants, resolve more than 200 matters, and has made more than 150 court appearances on behalf of Concordance Academy participants.

Shelby has been instrumental in helping our participants successfully re-integrate into the community,” Concordance Chief Administrative Officer, Michelle Smith, said. “She has paved the way for this fellowship and continues to be an outstanding role model in and out of the courtroom.”


Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is a global law firm with more than 900 highly skilled lawyers in 26 offices in North America, Europe and Asia. The firm represents publicly held multinational corporations, large and mid-sized privately held companies, emerging companies, nonprofit and community organizations, government entities, and individuals. With a foundation based on enduring client relationships, deep and diverse legal experience, industry-shaping innovation and a collaborative culture, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s transaction, litigation and regulatory practices serve clients in key business and financial markets.


Concordance Academy is a St. Louis-based nonprofit that offers the country’s first set of integrated, holistic and evidence-driven services to individuals returning to society from prison. Led by President and CEO Danny Ludeman, the organization assists participants in three primary areas: behavioral health and wellness; education and employment; and community and life skills. The Academy starts working with individuals six months prior to release and continues assisting for up to a year after their return to the community. The organization is committed to restoring individuals, rebuilding families, transforming communities and advancing the field of re-entry services.

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