In the southwest Missouri town of Ozark, Patricia Shilling has established a strong practice to serve her community. She has also served other female lawyers by establishing a new women’s bar association in 2015.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
I am proud to have helped many local people solve their problems and disputes. Their problems are not always complex and not always big dollar but they are very important to the person involved. I’m also proud of the experience I have obtained in many areas of the law and being able to use that experience to help my clients and other lawyers. I enjoy helping young lawyers and particularly young women lawyers. In 2015, I was instrumental in organizing a new women’s bar association, Southern Missouri Women Lawyers. The association is now over a year old and has over 100 members. We have bimonthly meetings, CLEs, charitable giving and social gatherings. It appears to be a great success.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
I wanted to become a lawyer from a very young age. I’m not sure why I was attracted to the profession as no one in my family was a lawyer and I didn’t personally know any lawyers. My great-great grandfather was a lawyer and judge so maybe it was just in my blood.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
I’m an avid horsewoman and have ridden horses all of my life. I still trail ride regularly and barrel race occasionally. I took my horse with me when I went to college and took four with me when I went to law school.
What is the best advice you have ever been given or received?
The best advice I have ever been given was from my father who always said to not be afraid of hard work and to always do the best you can possibly do at a job, no matter the job. The best advice I can give to anyone is, your word is your integrity.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a professional barrel racer and a lawyer.