When she did not get into the master’s-degree program she initially wanted to complete, she changed course. It led her to a vocation in which she continues to improve the lives of numerous working women in and around Kansas City.
Jones graduated from Kansas State University in 1991 and earned her law degree at the University of Kansas in 1994. While there, she was the publications editor for The Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.
She also worked as a teaching assistant for an employment-law professor who later helped her to get a job in that practice area with a firm that did about 60 percent plaintiffs’ work.
“It aligned very well with my liberal views, my crusade, my belief that I was going to save the world,” Jones said.
But as her practice progressed, Jones discovered that companies weren’t always wrong, and that sometimes her clients had deserved to be fired due to their own actions. She decided to switch to defense work and to help companies improve their hiring and employment practices.
As an employment trial attorney, she now represents companies, not-for-profit organizations and higher-education institutions. She defends organizations in employment matters, but she also consults with them on personnel and anti-harassment issues.
In that work, she challenges clients to think “broadly and inclusively,” she said. As managing partner of her firm, Jones promotes diversity and inclusivity in the hiring of new attorneys — a priority for her firm.
“Internally in my organization, we have a really profound commitment to creating and maintaining a very inclusive and diverse work environment,” she said.
Issues of diversity and inclusion are not just a professional focus for Jones but a personal priority as well. Out of the office, she serves as vice chair of the board of the Women’s Employment Network, a Kansas City-based organization that helps women achieve economic independence through employment.
WEN offers financial coaching, resume-review services, community services and a support network to bolster self-esteem. Jones said she is very thankful to be a part of that work.
“You know how all the time people say, ‘Life isn’t fair?’” she said. “But don’t we all have the obligation to make it as fair as possible for as many possible?”