Kimberly Logue had just started a new job in a new city in 2009 when her new boss suggested that she join the Junior League of Little Rock.
She immediately recalled what her father, Keith Logue, had told her after serving as the first male PTA president at her elementary school: "Junior League women get things done."
"I thought, 'There are these women who can get these impossible things done. My brand new boss would like me to join. OK, I'm going to learn how to get things done,'" says Logue, 2018-2019 president of the Junior League of Little Rock, as well as an environmental lawyer with PPGMR Law, PLLC.
She jumped in with both feet, quickly moving into the position of research and development chair, where her task was to look for ways to make the organization's community programs stronger or more efficient.
Julie Greathouse, managing member at PPGMR, is the boss who recruited Logue to the Junior League.
"She's exceptionally bright," Greathouse says of Logue. "She's an extremely hard worker, and she's pretty selfless. She's also well-organized. So, all of those things, and then knowing that she has a heart for service, well that's exactly the kind of person that the League is looking for."
She was not surprised by Logue's becoming president.
"She's a great leader, and she does it with such grace and humility in everything she does," Greathouse says. "I think that we're lucky to have her and I think our clients are lucky to have her because there's nothing too difficult for her to tackle. She's able to take complicated things and quickly distill them to find the issues. And she's so fast. I can send her something, I don't ever have to think about it again, because I know Kim has it handled."
There are few law firms where Logue's undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in biology would be as beneficial for clients as it is at PPGMR Inc., Greathouse says.
"We actually have cases that are agricultural related or natural resources related, where her background in botany has actually been a factor in helping us," she says.
Logue explored numerous career options before and during college -- she spent time with a pharmacist, a veterinarian and a physical therapist to help her make up her mind. She settled on botany or ecology, though, and then worked on a thesis in that area during her junior and senior years at the University of Central Arkansas Honors College.
"I decided I didn't want to do a science topic, I wanted to do something different. So I actually picked an Australian legal topic," Logue says. "It had to do with the Australia Native Title movement and legislation. It's very interesting to an American who's familiar with the American legal system and American property rights. It's a movement to create coexistent property rights for Aboriginal people in Australia, but it's not necessarily real property rights like we would think of them. Some of it is also access rights, so allowing Aboriginal people to access or visit or follow their religion on sites that may belong to someone else."
She found a tropical reforestation study and work-abroad program through Boston University.
"I lived in the rain forest in Australia that summer, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, doing research and working on a reforestation site. Then on the weekends, we would travel around Australia. I made sure every place that we went I talked to people about the Native Title issue, and I also had the opportunity to meet and visit with some Aboriginal people and some Aboriginal chiefs," Logue says. "The thing that I didn't realize from starting to study in the states is how much of a cultural conflict it was and how emotional it was for the people that lived in northern Queensland, which is where I was."
She witnessed conflict in the form of a farmer pulling an Aboriginal man from a pub into a dirt street and pummeling him with his fists, and the owner of a different pub asking her to leave because he worried her questions would put her in danger.
Logue also spent time helping to plant native tree species in the Mabi rain forest.
"At that time, there were less than 10 acres of it left," she says. "It had become so fragmented that all of the native species to that particular type of forest couldn't travel from one location to the other because there were homes or agriculture in between, so we were actually building pockets, or corridors, for the native species to be able to expand their territory."
DRAWN TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
In Australia, she realized her true calling.
"I was doing all this botanical, ecological research that was really in my field of study as an undergrad, and I really realized that the thing I was interested in wasn't necessarily the science study itself, it was the way that science and land and resource use interplayed with practical application, how it fed into policy and how people lived their everyday lives and conducted their livelihoods," she says. "That was definitely the moment -- speaking with those Aboriginal people, and really understanding how much science could affect how people live their lives. That's really what led me to want to be an environmental attorney."
Logue went to Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y., recently ranked No. 1 in the country for environmental law by U.S. News and World Report.
There were no lawyers in her family before her -- her father was an engineer, and her mother, Susan Logue, was a computer programmer, as is her younger brother Kyle, who lives in Raleigh, N.C.
Logue and her brother spent most of their shared childhood together playing outside around their Longview, Texas, home.
"I loved writing as a kid so I would write short stories, and then I would write plays and make my friends and my brother act in them," she says.
Their family hiked and camped often, too, at Petit Jean, Mount Nebo and Queen Wilhelmina state parks.
She was 16 -- in the middle of her sophomore year -- when her family moved to Batesville, where her father started a new job with Eastman Chemical Co.
"By the time she was a senior, she was the editor of the yearbook," Keith Logue says. "And she and one of the guys in her graduating class, they were both most likely to succeed."
MAGNA CUM LAUDE
Kimberly Logue was an Arkansas Governor's Scholarship recipient. She graduated summa cum laude from UCA and was named top ranking senior there. At Pace, she was managing editor of the Pace Environmental Law Review. She spent one summer working for an environmental nonprofit organization in Washington and another working for the Texas Railroad Commission, which once regulated railroads but now regulates oil and gas. She also interned for Laura Taylor Swain, U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of New York.
In 2007, Logue graduated magna cum laude, with a certificate in environmental law.
Logue thought she would practice law in Texas, so she took the bar exam there and got a clerkship with Marcia A. Crone, U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Texas, in Beaumont. When that job ended after two years, in the heart of a recession, she considered looking for a job in Arkansas, where she had gone to college and where she had loved to vacation.
"I did some online research just finding out who were the pre-eminent environmental lawyers in the state and this law firm just constantly kept popping up because they had the largest environmental law practice, and the kind of practice that they had was exactly what I was interested in," she says. "I think it was meant to be."
Through watching her parents and their co-workers at Eastman Chemical, and her grandfather, a chemical engineer for Exxon, Logue understood the difficulty people in industrial facilities had navigating environmental legal requirements.
"I'm the person who helps those technical people and the scientists navigate this complex environmental regulatory framework we have now. I represent industrial facilities and manufacturing facilities, but also I've represented a state agency, and individuals and some local businesses," she says. "I do litigation, I do appeals, I do regulatory work, permitting ... so it kind of runs the gamut of what might come up in an environmental context."
She served on the appellate team that represented the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in a case that was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled 8-0 in favor of the Game and Fish Commission in 2012.
"The way that the [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers had been operating a dam upstream in Missouri was causing flooding to happen on the [Dave Donaldson Black River] Wildlife Management Area that wouldn't have naturally occurred. It destroyed and degraded a lot of the trees that were located in the Wildlife Management Area, so the lawsuit was the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission suing the Corps of Engineers, who was represented by the Department of Justice, A) to stop the flooding but B) to recover damages to be able to replace and repair the trees," Logue says.
ASPIRE TO LEAD, INSPIRE TO SERVE
Before she sought the Junior League presidency, Logue asked for her colleagues' blessings.
"They were incredibly supportive of it," she says, adding, "there were some areas that I saw that we could continue to improve the League and what we do for Little Rock."
Her theme for the year was "Aspire to Lead, Inspire to Serve," focused on meeting the needs of the organization's members.
"I think we've proven our value in the community, but we want to make sure that our members continue to be engaged and excited about being Junior League members," Logue says. "I think our community impact, of course, is a huge draw for our members, because they see the good work that we're doing in the community, and they want to be a part of that. But the thing that makes the Junior League unique among other nonprofits in town is that we really strive to be the premier source of female personal development in Little Rock."
Several of the League's projects focus on education, like Stuff the Bus, which provided 3,000 sets of school supplies for students in seven Little Rock School District schools, and like Boosters and Big Rigs, a partnership between the Junior League and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Children International.
"We have a back to school jamboree in August," Logue says. "We had over 1,100 attendees this year, and we did 51 vision screenings, 46 hearing screenings and 447 dental screenings and fluoride treatments. We also gave [supplies] to 400 kids [who] didn't get school supplies through Stuff the Bus because they might not have attended one of those schools. And this year, one thing that I was really excited about is everyone who attended -- both the kids and their parents -- got a pair of brand-new TOMS shoes to take home."
Little Readers Rock is a Junior League event held in conjunction with the Arkansas Literary Festival.
"We had 1,100 people at that last year," she says.
Jennifer Goss, Junior League's president-elect, has worked closely with Logue for the last couple of years. Last year, as part of Little Readers Rock, they went to kindergarten classrooms to give books to children. There was a child in one classroom who couldn't be photographed because of privacy issues. Logue made sure that child didn't feel excluded.
"She gave her a special title, like 'photographer helper,' and then took her specially around the table and let her pick out a couple extra books because she couldn't be in the photo," Goss says. "She was just putting that extra touch on -- sometimes we get wrapped up in what's happening, but taking a step back and giving that individualized attention to the children when they need it."
Last fall, the League hosted the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. conference in Little Rock for only the second time in its nearly 100-year history, with about 250 attendees from around the United States and Canada.
"That was fantastic to be able to host," Logue says, "to work with those who wanted to learn how to be better leaders in their own communities."
Logue's own desire to learn has been lifelong. One of her earliest memories is of being in the kitchen with her father, learning how to measure temperatures with a mercury thermometer and how to measure pH levels in water. She got a microscope when she was 10, and she couldn't find enough things to examine through its lens.
"I probably should have known I was going to be an environmental lawyer from an early age, because my very first science fair project, I went around my hometown, and I tested all the local streams and ponds and lakes for acid rain," she says.
From the window of her office at the PPGMR, near the banks of the Arkansas River, she can see birds and other wildlife.
"I was on a conference call earlier this week and I was kind of pacing back and forth in my office and there was a woodpecker and a cardinal right outside," says Logue, who still gets outside as often as she can.
Many weekends find her hiking with her yellow Lab mix, Ridley, at Petit Jean Mountain. She has an old family photo taken during a vacation there.
"It's very '80s fantastic, with my mom's permed hair and my giant glasses, but that's Cedar Falls at Petit Jean behind us," she says. "I almost feel like it was always just meant to be, that I was supposed to be in Arkansas, because this is where we vacationed growing up. Actually Petit Jean was our favorite place. It's still my favorite."
• DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH: Sept. 17, 1981, Longview, Texas.
• A BOOK I RECENTLY READ AND LIKED WAS: The Au Pair. (Favorite books are Jane Eyre and Dune)
• I WISH I COULD: Whistle.
• SOMETHING FEW PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT ME: I like to do salsa and ballroom dancing.
• MY MOST VALUED POSSESSION: The Thomas Kinkade painting of Snow White that my mother spent almost a year cross-stitching. My parents called me Snow White growing up because of my dark hair and fair skin.
• I'M MOST COMFORTABLE: Outside in nature.
• MY MOST PRECIOUS CHILDHOOD MEMORY: Camping and hiking with my family.
• FIVE PEOPLE I WOULD INVITE TO A FANTASY DINNER PARTY: Maya Angelou, Jane Goodall, Michael Pollan, Cleopatra and Oprah Winfrey.
• THE BEST ADVICE I'VE EVER GOTTEN: Don't ever let the fear of someone telling you no make you hesitant to ask.
• MY FAVORITE MEAL: Italian, even though I'm allergic to cheese. Or pickle-fried chicken tacos from Heights Taco & Tamale.
• I'M MOST PROUD OF: The times I've had the opportunity to help other people.
• ONE WORD TO SUM ME UP: Independent
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JOHN SYKES JR.
“I almost feel like it was always just meant to be, that I was supposed to be in Arkansas, because this is where we vacationed growing up. Actually Petit Jean was our favorite place. It’s still my favorite.” - Kimberly Dale Logue
High Profile on 05/05/2019