She Specializes in Family & Criminal. A Conversation With Kansas City Attorney, Kaelyn L. Guinty
Kaelyn Guinty graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 2018. During her time in Law School she worked with the Midwest Innocence Project as well as in the schools Child and Family Services Clinic. During her law school time she began to work in Criminal Defense and Family Law with our office as a Law Clerk. Upon passing the bar, Kaelyn was hired on as an associate attorney with us. Kaelyn is admitted to practice law in both Missouri and Kansas. Kaelyn is also a Guardian Ad Litem, which allows her to investigate what solutions would be in the best interest of a child, typically seen in divorce or parental rights and responsibilities cases. While working here Kaelyn continues to specialize in criminal law as well as focusing on family law.
Q: When did you know you would pursue a career as an Attorney?
KG: I knew from a very young age I wanted to be an Attorney. My parents always joked that I would be one because I loved to argue with them about anything and everything. When I was in undergrad, I initially had my major as respiratory therapy, I quickly learned that I was not good at nor did I enjoy any of the classes I would need to get that degree. I soon thereafter changed my major to Criminal Justice with a Minor in Psychology not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I had the opportunity to take a Criminal Law class with a local attorney and he sparked my passion for law, specifically criminal law. I think I always knew I wanted to be an attorney, but that course pushed me to actually reach for my goals and begin applying to Law Schools.
Q: What expectations did you have after graduating and receiving your law degree?
KG: I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect upon graduation, however I began working at my current job in my last year of Law School so I had a general idea of what I would be doing. I was lucky and didn’t get that “shock” or overwhelming aspect of starting as a new associate in a new firm after passing the bar, I was lucky enough to have a smooth transition from Law Clerk to Attorney.
Q: What aspects of the daily job of being a lawyer interest you the most?
KG: The most interesting aspect of being an attorney is that no day is the same, ever. Whether I am in the office most of the day or in court (Pre-COVID), it was always something new and exciting. Being in both Criminal and Family law, I get to work on a variety of different types of cases and different people. It is definitely challenging at times but when I walk into work, I never truly know what my day holds so that always keeps it interesting.
Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law you specialize in?
KG: I currently specialize in Family Law and Criminal law. I have recently been expanding and obtained my Mediation Certification, so I am able to Mediate Civil and Domestic cases in Missouri and hopefully Kansas as well. We take on a range of cases from Divorces, Modifications, Ex Parte’s and anything Criminal we are happy to assist with.
Q: You’re also a Guardian Ad Litem, for those in our audience not familiar with this title, can you tell us more about it?
KG: A Guardian Ad Litem is essentially an Attorney that is appointed by the Court to represent the Child/Children’s best interest in a variety of Domestic cases. Generally, GAL’s are appointed due to allegation of abuse or neglect but there can be other circumstances where GAL’s are necessary or helpful. It is an extremely important role for any case where there are children involved and they cannot speak for themselves. As a young attorney I have much to learn about being a Guardian ad Litem, but I am grateful I have been able to get the training necessary to be appointed.
Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you?
KG: I had odd jobs throughout high school and undergrad, however my first “real” job was working in as Mental Health Support Specialist. This was the first job that I had real responsibility with people who relied on me. At 20 years old this job was quite an awaking into a realm that many people don’t see, which is severe mental health conditions. While we all hear about someone having issues with their mental health, being able to work hand and hand and coordinate their therapy, their physical health, their day to day tasks, and how to work towards their goals, it was challenging but so rewarding to witness first hand. This job showed me compassion and understanding as well as showed me how different people struggle with different things and everyone is facing their own battles.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
KG: I am fortunate enough to have a boss that allows us to have this work life balance. While there are several nights a month we may have night court, our staff and attorneys are dedicated and extremely hard working, therefore we are generally able to keep an 8-5 schedule so everyone can maintain a life outside of work.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
KG: The woman who inspires me the most in my career was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Rest in Peace. RBG was ambitious, compassionate, and courageous and spent her career and life fighting for Women’s rights and equality. She was repeatedly placed in situations where she had to push her way to the top and fought for what was just and right and did so with grace and intelligence. She is truly an inspiration to Young Female Attorneys as she provided such a great path for us to follow in.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
KG: My best advice to young women who want to succeed in Law as well as other workplaces is to be your best self. Be confident. Be kind. Be respectful. Don’t give up on yourself, my hardest but most meaningful breakthroughs are when someone told me that I wasn’t enough. At that point I made the decision to stand up, prove them wrong, and not to let that break me down.
Five Things About Kaelyn L. Guinty
1. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
In the free time I manage to have I really enjoy going to parks, specifically with lakes and go for hikes. I grew up being around Lake of the Ozarks, so water is my place to really sit back and relax and enjoy the peacefulness.
2. What were you like in high school?
In high school I was almost the complete opposite I am right now, I used to be lazy, unmotivated, and uninterested in my future (thank goodness this changed). I enjoyed hanging out with my friends and driving around at all hours of the night, usually disappearing into a cornfield and getting stuck in the mud until my mom would call me at 4am screaming that I needed to get home right now. I think she is pretty thrilled with how I have turned out as well.
3. Favorite dessert?
Oddly enough, my favorite dessert is from a recent cruise I went on and got the Crème Brulee every single night, I just couldn’t pass it up.
4. Do you have a favorite app on your phone?
My favorite app is by far my amazon app, I am an avid online shopper and having things delivered directly to my door, amazon just makes it so easy to find everything I need in one place for such a good price!
5. If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I cannot think of a specific person I would trade my entire day with; however, I would trade with someone who was retired on a beach, sipping mojitos, and watching the waves without a care in the world.