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Women in Business

How One Spencer Fane Attorney Finds the Time to Give Back

Nikki Hutson shares tips for finding your passion—and finding the time to see it through.

By Lillian Stone

Dec 01 2018 at 8 a.m.

Nikki smiles at the camera
Photo courtesy Nikki HutsonNikki Hutson got involved in the community in her mid-twenties as a way to meet people and discovered a passion for community service.

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Biz 417: As an attorney at Spencer Fane, you don’t have a lot of time to yourself. Why do you make giving back a priority?
Nikki Hutson: I believe that giving back to your community is extremely important. I got my start in the nonprofit world when I joined the Junior League of Springfield. Back then, I was a 25-year-old newbie lawyer looking to meet people. Instead, I found a passion for community service. I just rolled off of that board, but I’m still active on the Dickerson Park Zoo board and the Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation board.

Biz: Why do you enjoy giving back?
NH: I’m passionate about all of the organizations I serve. With the zoo board, it’s a little different—we do the normal board activities, but we also get to go behind the scenes. I recently got the cut a cheetah’s toenails. With the Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation, we specialize in the needs of women and children. That’s something that I feel really strongly about.

Biz: What’s your advice for professionals who might struggle to find the time to give back?
NH: I work a lot, but you make the time. If it’s something you’re passionate about, you’ll find the time. If I’m going to do something, I want to make sure I’m giving 100 percent, which starts with a real passion for the organization.

Biz: Where can local professionals connect with area nonprofits?
NH: Springfield has a ton of nonprofits, so there are a lot of opportunities for people to find a cause they care about and connect with. I’d recommend checking with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for information on local nonprofits. The annual Community Focus Report Card is also a great resource to see where the needs in our community lie.