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Ashley H. Atwell-Soler, 38

Of counsel, Holman Schiavone, Kansas City

ashley-atwell-solerPractice areas: Employment law and personal injury with a Spanish-language niche

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Ashley H. Atwell-Soler enjoyed her job as a Spanish language legal interpreter, but there was one problem. “I found myself wanting to be the advocate rather than the conduit,” she writes.

Today, after winning a slew of honors and accolades in school, this University of Miami graduate with a master’s in history is now practicing law.

A former press secretary for Congressman Silvestre Reyes, she was a legal intern for both a federal judge in Kansas and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in western Missouri before clerking for Judge Dean Whipple. Since then, she’s gained experience at two law firms before becoming of counsel at Holman Schiavone where she gets to put her language skills to work doing more than simply interpreting.

“Having worked with Ashley professionally and in civic projects, I can attest to her professionalism, humanity, commitment to the Kansas City legal community and greater public good,” writes her nominator.

What advice do you have for young lawyers?

Surround yourself with diverse people from various professions and walks of life. A good mix of friends and influences will help you maintain perspective. Follow your heart and find something that you really enjoy and that makes you feel like you are making a difference. If you don’t know what that is yet, try a little bit of everything in law school.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what profession would you have chosen?

I would likely be a college professor teaching history, Latin American studies, or international relations.