Bill French Alumni Service Award
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Counts (B.B.A. ’82, J.D. ’88) serves on the UMKC Law Foundation board. She is a past president of the School of Law Alumni Association, served on the Law School Minority Advisory board, as alumni master of the UMKC Inns of Court, and as president of the Women’s Council. Counts credits her mother and grandparents with inspiring her.
“I grew up in rural Tennessee,” she says, “and my grandparents had only gone through elementary school, but they were entrepreneurs. They had a little store, they farmed. They instilled in my mother a sense of work ethic. And even though she was a teen mom with three kids, they made sure she went to college, and she has her masters. She was my biggest inspiration.”
What traits to you value in a colleague? I sound like I’m talking about a dog, but honesty, faithfulness and respect.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Raising my children to appreciate where they’ve come from and giving back.
Why’d you go into law? My mother was a teacher, and she had these cards with prominent African Americans. One was Thurgood Marshall. It inspired me.