After an accomplished career of working and volunteering to help Kansas City area children, women and some of the city’s poorest and most underserved communities, Jolie Justus was elected to the Missouri State Senate in 2006. Since entering the Senate, she has been a leading advocate for children, women’s health, working families, vibrant neighborhoods and an independent judiciary.
Senator Justus has emerged as a tireless voice for Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens and a respected leader and champion for Kansas City. In addition to passing key legislation to benefit Missouri, Senator Justus holds key leadership roles as Vice Chair of the Progress and Development Committee, Vice Chair of the Healthy Missourians 2020 Committee, and Ranking Democrat on the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Senator Justus also serves on the following committees: Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment; Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections; Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families; Select Committee on Oversight of Stimulus; Joint Committee on Legislative Research; Joint Committee on Missouri’s Energy Future; Joint Committee on MO Health Net; Children’s Trust Fund Board; Children’s Services Commission; and Court Automation.
Every year organizations across the state recognize Senator Justus for her dedication to the people of the state of Missouri. She has received legislator or advocate of the year awards from the following organizations: American Cancer Society; Citizen’s for Missouri’s Children; Midwest Foster Care & Adoption Association; Missouri Association of Social Welfare; Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys; Missouri Judicial Conference; The Missouri Bar; Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition; Partnership for Children; and St. Louis Business Journal. Senator Justus was also honored with the Outstanding Family Advocate Award from Cornerstones of Care; the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus Erika S. Fox Pillar Award; Planned Parenthood’s On Target Award; University of Missouri-Columbia Lambda Legal’s Advocate for Equality Award; the Committed Statesperson Award from the MS Society; KC Pride Democratic Club’s Trailblazer Award; the Commitment to Equality Award from KC’s HRC Steering Committee; MWLC’s Biddy Hurlbut Women’s Health Award; an Honorary Doctor of Biotechnology Public Policy from MO Biotech Association; and Special Recognition from the Autism Society of America, Gateway Chapter, Missouri Autism Projects and Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates.
Senator Justus was born in Kansas City and raised in the Southwest Missouri town of Branson, Missouri. She graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She went on to earn her juris doctorate, with distinction, from University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. During law school she served as Managing Editor of the UMKC Law Review, was a member of the Bench and Robe Honor Society and received the Charles E. Whittaker Award for Academic Excellence.
In addition to representing the people of the 10th District, Senator Justus is the Director of Pro Bono Services for the law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP. Under her direction, SHB has been recognized as one of the top 100 free legal services programs in the nation. In Kansas City Jolie is a volunteer for St. Vincent’s/Operation Breakthrough, AIDS Service Foundation, ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, Good Samaritan Project, PROMO and Tulips on Troost.