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Carly Duvall, 35

Of-counsel, Spencer Fane

Carly DuvallLocation: Kansas City

Practice Area: Litigation, including white-collar criminal defense

Law School: University of Missouri

Carly Duvall said she has come to learn that the practice of law is fostered on relationships. She follows the advice a friend once gave her by always sharing the most authentic version of herself with people.

“I bring the same personality to a client meeting as I do to a cup of coffee with my friends,” she said. “I believe it produces more connections, better relationships and ultimately a better work product.”

Duvall’s leadership is illustrated in a number of ways, such as developing and co-chairing the Spencer Fane STARTUP Lab, which offers three months of free legal consultation to qualifying companies in the Kansas City region. In addition, she is launching a Missouri chapter of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association, and she works every day to defend large corporate businesses in high-stakes disputes.

“I have worked with literally hundreds of young lawyers, and none have impressed me as a professional, a leader and a friend like Carly [has],” her nominator wrote.

What advice do you have for young lawyers?

My professional motto is to work hard and be nice to people. Those two things will carry you farther in this professional than any other skill or trait.

What has been your favorite moment as an attorney?

Very early in my career, I represented a same-sex couple in one of the first same-sex parental adoptions in Jackson County.

What is your favorite thing to do away from work? 

Spend time with my 4-year-old. She is an amazingly creative, funny and smart tiny human. Being a mom isn’t my sole purpose, but it is absolutely the best thing I have done in my life.

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