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Home / Supplements and Special Sections / WJA 2020: Aimee Riederer Gromowsky, Aimee the Attorney

WJA 2020: Aimee Riederer Gromowsky, Aimee the Attorney

Aimee Gromowsky began her career as a social worker before deciding that, as a lawyer, she could help people in a more empowered way.

“I was a social worker for four years and felt like I couldn’t do enough for my clients as a social worker,” said Gromowsky, who was born in Kansas City and grew up in Dallas before returning to Missouri as an adult.

Aimee Riederer Gromowsky

Gromowsky

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 1999, Gromowsky began working as a prosecuting attorney in the Jackson County drug court.

“I love drug court, but I did not like putting people in prison, and so it didn’t take me long to figure out that the prosecuting office wasn’t exactly where I needed to be,” she said.

Instead, in 2002 she went to work for her uncle, Albert Riederer, who before his death in 2012 ran his own firm and was a former Jackson County prosecutor and legislator, a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District and a Kansas City civic leader.

Riederer practiced a mix of civil and criminal cases while also lobbying in Jefferson City. Gromowsky said he needed a “runner,” and she eventually filled that role.

“I would be going to court for him, I would be talking to clients for him . . . an apprentice, sort of,” she said. “It was great because Albert was the best person, beside my parents, that I knew. And he always had a bent towards helping people and towards justice. He shared the values I have and imparted a lot of those values on me.”

During that period, Gromowsky and her husband completed a program to become foster parents, which she described as “super-intense.” In 2007, they got a call asking if they would open their home to three young siblings. The children moved in, and Gromowsky started her own firm that same week in order to create the flexibility to also be a mother.

“They’ve been here ever since,” she said of her now-adopted children, 17-year-old Dayvon, 15-year-old Katy and 14-year-old Jaylen.

In her private practice, Gromowsky focuses on traffic and municipal matters as well as bankruptcy and estate planning. When she graduated from law school, she believed she could use her skills for good purposes, and part of that means pro bono work in which she helps children who are alone to navigate the court system, she said.

“They don’t have that security net of someone who says, ‘Hey I’m here for you and I’ll help you,’” she said. “Navigating the court system without having anyone is really impossible.”

Many of her pro bono clients who need help are referred to her by social workers at Operation Breakthrough, a daycare and early education center in Kansas City, She also does low-bono work with young adults who have aged out of the foster care system, and she helps with Amethyst Place, a long-term shelter for women and their children. Often the women are battling addiction, and she helps them to clear warrants and tickets while they try to find steady employment, she said.

In one such case, a woman Gromowsky met last November sent a memorable thank-you letter to her. Four months later, Gromowsky encountered the woman again, and “she just looked amazing.”

“Lawyers can have a big impact, and even just something as minor as a driver’s license is not minor to many people,” she said. “It just felt great.”

2020 Women's Justice Awards