Women in Business 2011: Kim Heckemeyer

Monday, November 21, 2011
Kim Heckemeyer is a partner with Burns, Taylor, Heckemeyer & Green in Sikeston, Mo. (Laura Simon)

Kim Heckemeyer didn't intend to specialize in workers' compensation and Social Security disability cases. But in her 11 years practicing law, she's found those are the areas that really allow her to help people and make a difference in their lives. The desire to make a difference spreads to her personal life: In the past she's helped raise money for several local organizations. With three children, Heckemeyer helps out however she can with their school and activities, serving as everything from a lunch monitor to soccer coach and Scout leader.

BT: You practice primarily in the areas of Social Security disability and workers' compensation. How and why did you decide to specialize in those areas?
Heckemeyer: When I began practicing law in 2000 I thought that I would focus on domestic relations. Over the years, however, my practice has become almost entirely focused on workers' compensation and Social Security disability because I've found that those areas give me the best opportunity to help people in need. I enjoy my work in those areas and feel that I am able to make a genuine difference in the lives of those I represent.

BT: What do you think people need to know about disability and workers' compensation law that they don't already?
Heckemeyer: That the law is constantly changing and legal help is needed to assure people's rights are protected.

BT: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Heckemeyer: After 11 years of practice, I have most enjoyed visiting with people, getting to know them and learning about their life stories. I enjoy helping folks, many of whom are nervous about even seeing an attorney. Getting to know my clients is what inspires me and part of why I love being an attorney.

BT: Are you involved in any community groups and, if so, what are they?
Heckemeyer: When my children were toddlers I was quite active in the community, serving as chairwoman of the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center Advisory Council for several years, where I chaired the local fundraiser for two years. I was a member of the Sikeston Rotary Club, where I served twice as chair of the Annual Rotary Auction; and for several years I was actively involved with fundraising for the American Cancer Society and had the honor of chairing several fundraising events for the Sikeston ACS. As my children have grown, however, our family schedule has become much more hectic and what time I am not at the office I am with my children. I am now primarily just involved in activities in which they are involved. I was a troop leader for both my daughters' Girl Scout troops for several years, I was on the school board for our parish school and have been a volunteer at their school in many capacities -- from school lunch monitor to Dinner Dance chairperson. I have been a soccer coach, a baseball coach and just recently became the leader of my son's Cub Scouts den.

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