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Home / Supplements and Special Sections / WJA 2019 / Patricia Scaglia- Scaglia Law Firm

Patricia Scaglia- Scaglia Law Firm

patricia-scagliaTricia Scaglia didn’t set out to practice family law.

After a two-year clerkship for a federal magistrate judge and another year with a small civil firm in Kansas City, the UMKC law graduate longed to “see all the sexy stuff” she had missed out on, from medical-malpractice suits to headline-grabbing criminal trials.

That opportunity came as law clerk for the late Judge Kelly J. Moorhouse in the 16th Judicial Circuit, a family court commissioner who had just been appointed circuit judge.

“One of the smartest decisions I ever made was to go work for her,” Scaglia said of her mentor, a fellow alumna of both the University of Missouri (where Scaglia earned a dual degree in broadcast news and political science) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

“I saw lawyers making a difference in people’s lives by resolving emotional disputes and addressing complicated legal and financial issues,” said Scaglia, a Kansas City native who’s had a solo family law practice in Independence since 2007.

For Scaglia, the rewards of her work aren’t pecuniary. She instead finds joy in the small victories, comfort in making her clients’ lives a bit easier — but knowing she won’t ever be able to “fix” all of their problems.

“The opportunity to interact with families and children is what makes family law special,” she said. “I have met so many extraordinary kids while serving as guardian ad litem over the past 19 years . . . that I know are going to do just remarkable things and make a difference in the world.”

At the same time, she acknowledged the toll such work can take.

“It literally gets you out of bed in the morning but keeps you up at night,” she said.

One of Scaglia’s nominators acknowledged those challenges, noting the relatively low compensation for guardians ad litem.

“That did not hamper Tricia,” the nominator wrote, calling her contributions “some of the best GAL work I’ve seen.”

“Anyone can work hard for an adult client who is paying your bill. Guardians, however, do not get paid what they deserve.”

Another nominator called Scaglia “a fierce leader” and one of the top family law attorneys in Kansas City.

“Throughout maintaining a practice and taking on leadership roles, Tricia mentors numerous young women. Tricia is the first to give recognition to others. She is an accomplished lawyer who has literally tried hundreds of family court bench trials,” that nominator wrote.

A third nominator cited Scaglia’s respect for opposing counsel and the court.

“She works hard for her clients and is very familiar with the ins and outs of litigation. Most importantly she is respectful to her opposing counsel and the court.”

Scaglia has been a member of The Missouri Bar Board of Governors since 2012 and is a former president of the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City. She also is a fellow of both the Missouri and American Bar Foundations, and she is an adjunct law professor at her alma mater.