Community & Events » Kendra Spearman: Dismantling Systemic Inequity, As a Lawyer and Citizen Alike | THE 1958 LAWYER Podcast

Kendra Spearman: Dismantling Systemic Inequity, As a Lawyer and Citizen Alike | THE 1958 LAWYER Podcast

Kendra never envisioned herself becoming a lawyer, per se. Like becoming a minister, earning her J.D. and opening her law firm became a way to drive positive change within minority communities – improving access to justice as an agent inside the system. Recently, Kendra also launched The Justice Renewal Initiative, a faith-based non-profit also supporting her singular goal through alternative methods.

Key moments:

  • Conception and struggles for a firm built to bridge the Justice Gap (1:00)
  • The Justice Renewal Initiative’s three focuses for change (10:45)
  • Case Study: A man stuck in the broken criminal justice system (14:18)
  • What Kendra Spearman wants to see changed in law (35:43)

Follow “The 1958 Lawyer” on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher


“The bar exam poses a major impediment [to more minorities becoming attorneys]…everything that it asks is stuff that you can kind of look up, it’s not a test about intelligence, but some people just don’t do well with tests.”

“What I hope to do through the Justice Renewal Initiative is bring all backgrounds together. All private citizens: I want judges, police officers – and that’s a group that tends to be excluded because of the mistrust – private citizens of the church…. People tend to ignore an issue if it does not affect them. So, I wanted to create this space where everybody could feel like they’re involved.”

“The other uncomfortable thing for me in that setting is that black women tend to have this stereotype that we’re angry… And I’m pretty confident that had I not lost my temper, that my client would have been taken into custody, and from what I was hearing from the different numbers that they were throwing out, we’re talking about years.”

“One of the main things I tell people is to talk about it. People look at racism and systemic racism and these issues as, you know, the awkward conversation to have.”



Kendra is a civil rights attorney and minister. She is the owner and founder of Spearman Law LLC, a civil rights law firm, and founder of The Justice Renewal Initiative, Inc., a faith-based, non-profit that is dedicated to criminal justice reform. She works diligently to fight injustice on the behalf of disadvantaged populations, in particular, those impacted by mass incarceration and racial disparities.




Spearman Law:

Justice Renewal Initiative:


Kendra, and The Justice Renewal Initiative, was featured in Chicago Lawyer! Read the full article:

Have comments, questions, or concerns? Contact us at

“The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar” still defines the business of law…
It’s time for a change.

If you’re a lawyer, you’re familiar with the ABA article “The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar” which gives our podcast its title, and its inspiration. That article was the start of the billable hour for law firms…And the last major change to the business of law, 70+ years ago now. Well, it’s past time for another change.

This podcast is all about bucking the status quo of the business of law. Your hosts Ron Bockstahler and Kirsten Mayfield run Amata Law Office Suites, providing law firms an alternative to the traditional fixed-cost business model that places unwanted stress on attorneys to work long hours that often-times lead to burn out, broken relationships and in many cases substance abuse. Each week they’ll discuss alternatives to the 12 hours days, endless rotation of clerks and paralegals, and the expensive offices leased to impress clients who rarely show up in person anymore. They’ll interview successful lawyers who are doing law differently, and finding a work-life balance while still running a successful firm.

Do you want to find a better way to run your law firm? It’s time for the next big change in the business of law, and you’ll get it here on The 1958 Lawyer.

More episodes of The 1958 Lawyer podcast