Emily Kembell began her legal career far from the rolling hills of Missouri’s Ozarks. After graduating from New York University School of Law in 2003, she got her start at the New York firms of Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher and McLaughlin & Stern. Four years later, she made her way back to her hometown of Springfield and in August 2016, she led the opening of Kirkland Woods and Martinsen’s newest office.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
To date, I am most proud and humbled to have successfully opened a new office of a well-established, respected law firm, Kirkland Woods & Martinsen. From learning about IT to hiring trusted colleagues to picking out the office space, I was able to navigate unchartered waters with lots of help and guidance from the founding member, Bob Kirkland.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
I have always been told that I over-analyze things, so I decided to put that trait to good use!
What is the best advice you have given or received?
Always remember what is important in your life, and live your life accordingly. It can be very challenging to keep your priorities straight. Sometimes I’m a better lawyer than I am a mom and vice versa, but I try my hardest to be the best I can be at that moment at all my roles.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
I was Missouri Limousin Queen in high school. My family raised Limousin beef cattle, and I worked daily after school with my show heifers and traveled across the U.S. to attend fairs and cattle shows.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I definitely enjoy the counseling aspect of my job the best. As an estate planning attorney, I get to combine technical tax skills and knowledge with a family counselor role. The challenge of combining these two skills is always something I greatly enjoy.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I always knew I wanted to be a mother. As far as what kind of career I wanted, that changed all the time! I thought I wanted to be a doctor like my dad until I did a Medical Explorers program in high school when I fainted every time I saw blood!