Founder, Senior Partner

Brief info



Mary Beck, RN MSN JD


Professor Mary Beck is the principal of LMB and has been practicing adoption law for over 30 years. Mary is also a family nurse practitioner, an emerita professor of law at the University of Missouri Law School, and a fellow in the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys.

Mary directed the Family Violence Clinic at MU Law for 27 years where she supervised law students representing abused women and children seeking orders of protection throughout Missouri, completed adoptions for abused/orphaned children, and obtained guardianships for the children of dying custodial parents and for disabled adults. She and her students also represented disabled adoptees in the Missouri Appellate Court, filed successful clemency/pardon petitions for abused women with Missouri’s Governors, and litigated extraordinary writs for clemency issues for abused women in Missouri’s Appellate and Supreme Courts.

Mary published an article urging the enactment of a national putative father registry in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy in 2002. Since then, Mary has drafted putative father registry bills in multiple states and for Congress. Her work on putative father registry law has led to an appearance on CNN’s Anderson Cooper, an interview on National Public Radio, and mention in the New York Times. In 2017, Mary published an article in the Michigan Journal of Gender and the Law describing prenatal abandonment theory in adoption following the United States Supreme Court 2013 decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.

Mary’s service includes running a free clinic; drafting legislation on birth parents’ rights, adoption of children, stand by guardianship, and domestic violence; helping with the Covid vaccination effort. She has also written Amicus Curiae briefs on behalf of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys to state courts and to the United States Supreme Court including in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl and in Brackeen v. Haaland.

Mary enjoys time spent with her husband of 52 years, their 4 children and 9 grandchildren, and their English Setters as well as biking and traveling.

  • St. Louis University (1970)

    Bachelor of Science, Nursing

  • St. Louis University School of Nursing (1971)

    Master of Science, Nursing

  • University of Missouri School of Law (1988)

    Juris Doctorate 

  • Kemper Award Fellowship for Teaching Excellence 2016
  • Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Angel in Adoption Award 2009
  • St. Louis Daily Record Women’s Justice Award: Legal Scholar 2008
  • University of Missouri School of Law Sustained Outstanding Faculty Award 2007
  • University of Missouri Faculty Alumni Award 2006 & 2007
  • Tribute to MU Women: MU Chancellor’s Committee of the Status of Women, 2004
  • Order of the Coif: Missouri Chapter of Order of the Coif, 2000
  • Lloyd E. Robert Memorial Prize in the Administration of Justice, 1999
  • Golden Chalk Teaching Award: Graduate Professional Council, University of Missouri, 1996.
  • Carey Mae Carrol Achievement Award: Women’s Law Association Award for Outstanding Commitment to Women, 1995 & 2007
  • A National Putative Father Registry, Wells Conference on Adoption Law, 36 CAPITAL UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 295 (2007).
  • Spotlight: Response to Violence against Women at the University of Missouri at Columbia, 23 SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY PUBLIC LAW REVIEW 227 (2004).
  • Towards a National Putative Father Registry Database, 25 HARVARD JOURNAL OF LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY 1031 (2002).
  • Adoption of Children in Missouri, 63 MISSOURI LAW REVIEW 423 (1998).
  • Improving America’s Health Care: Authorizing Independent Prescriptive Privileges for Advanced Practice Nurses, 29 SAN FRANCISCO LAW REVIEW 951 (1995).
  • Investigating the Justice System Response to Domestic Violence in Missouri with Brandi L. Byrd, M.Meghan Davidson, Niels C. Beck, and Gregory F. Petroski, 62 JOURNAL OF THE MISSOURI BAR 222 (2007).
  • The Reliability and Validity of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale in a Female Incarcerated Population with N.Jones and P.Ji, 23 JOURNAL OF FAMILY ISSUES 441 (2002).
Bar Memberships
  • The Missouri Bar, 1988
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2013

Mary is married to Niels Beck and they have 4 children in 3 states, 2 sons-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, and 7 grandchildren, 3 of whom were born within 6 weeks of each other and are affectionately known as “the grandtriplets.” Mary likes all kinds of setters, but English Setters are her favorite. She enjoys playing piano, riding biking and skiing with her children and grandchildren.

offices in:

St. Louis & Columbia, Missouri



St. Louis: 314.962.0292
Columbia: 573.446.7554