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Abby E. McClellan, 33

Associate, Stueve Siegel Hanson

Abby E. McClellanLocation: Kansas City

Practice area: Mass torts (plaintiffs)

Law School: University of Missouri-Kansas City

An elementary education class set Abby McClellan on the path to becoming a lawyer.

Learning about special education law and reading about cases that had a large impact on education hit close to home for her.

“My younger brother has multiple disabilities, including autism, and until this class I had never realized why he was able to go to ‘regular school,’” she said. “I was inspired when I learned about the lawyers and advocates who helped pass laws that ensured my brother was not sent to a special school and received an education in the least restrictive environment possible.”

McClellan went on to teach elementary special education before deciding to go to law school. Today, she focuses on large-scale cases involving thousands of plaintiffs across the United States.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

Prior to law school, I taught lower elementary special education in Fort Madison, Iowa. I taught students in grades K-2 with behavior disorders. I also was the head high school cheerleading coach and taught gymnastics at the YMCA, all while working toward an advanced degree in special education.

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

From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be an elementary education teacher. Prior to my “a-ha” moment in undergrad where I realized being a lawyer was an option, I would have probably taught school with aspirations of being a principal or superintendent. I also love to cook, bake and entertain so I hope to someday run a bed and breakfast.

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