By Cameron M. Gerber
JEFFERSON CITY- A representative from the Missouri Attorney General’s office visited LU’s campus Friday morning. Casey Lawrence, director of Sunshine Law Compliance and Records Management, explained her job and fielded questions from professor Will Sites’ JOU 370 public relations class.
Lawrence covered a number of topics, including her education and the path she took to get to her position. She completed an internship and worked as an analyst before assuming her current position within the state’s top law enforcement office. She also explained the Sunshine Law, which establishes that certain government data and documents be available upon reasonable request – something that journalism students need to understand before entering the field.
Lawrence answered questions concerning the request protocol for obtaining documents, consequences of violating the law, and the distinction between documents that are legally open (or closed) to journalists. Some documents, such as personnel, health records, litigation, and real estate may be closed to the public. She also assured students that a journalism degree could be a gateway to many state jobs that require communication, like record keeping or analysis.
Most states have some variation on the Sunshine Law. More information on it can be found through the Missouri Attorney General’s website at https://ago.mo.gov/