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Phyllis Norman-Komoroski, mentor honoree

Partner, Norman & Graves

Phyllis Norman-Komoroski

Phyllis Norman-Komoroski

To have a diverse legal community in the future, one has to get a diverse group of young people interested in the law now. Phyllis Norman-Komoroski served as a chairperson of a promising effort during its inaugural year.

The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation’s Student Law Academy provides underprivileged high school students with meaningful exposure to careers in the legal profession. Each week, students interned at a different law firm and met with an assigned mentor to discuss their experiences. Norman served as a mentor and helped to get the program off of the ground.

Norman serves in numerous capacities in the Kansas City legal community. She serves as secretary for the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, is a past president of the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City and also serves as treasurer of the AWL Foundation.

Norman was elected by local lawyers to the 16th Circuit Judicial Commission. She also served as a mentor in what is now known as the Denise Henning Connections Program through AWLF from 2010 to 2014.

What advice do you have for young lawyers?

My advice for young lawyers is of course learn your craft well but also to follow your gut and be true to yourself. Build relationships and find a good mentor and champion. Last, take care of yourself, your clients and the community through helping with charities. It will make you feel good about yourself, which is necessary in life to be happy.

What inspired you to get involved in the legal profession?

My reason to go to law school was the opportunity to help others, and luckily being in the plaintiff’s area of practice has fully fulfilled that desire.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Two things. 1) Be in the moment in career and personal life and 2) Quality of work is absolutely important, but your attitude in a case is just as important.

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

That depends on if you asked me in my 20s or now. In my 20s, probably a doctor. Now, a professional vacationer.

What is your favorite thing to do away from work?

TENNIS — Love it.

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