Laura Higgins Tyler is a staff attorney for Stinson, specializing in family and juvenile cases. She earmarks her career with her children’s birthdays.
In 1989, she had been a public defender in the former 6th Judicial Circuit for five years by the time she gave birth to her daughter, also named Laura.
Previously, the Jackson County Bar spun a wheel with member attorneys’ names on it to assign pro bono cases. But 1989 was also the year a statute amendment granted indigent parents the right to counsel. Law firms scrambled to figure out how to provide this.
Laura spun her own wheel. Led by past experience of family law pro bono work — and the legacy of her father, retired Missouri Supreme Court Judge Andrew Jackson Higgins — Morrison & Hecker hired her that same year as an early version of an in-house pro bono attorney specializing in family law. It’s now a common practice.
She’s stayed with the firm ever since. It just changed names. In 1992, her son Jackson was born and Morrison & Hecker merged with Stinson, Meg & Fissell to later become Stinson.
Laura has represented parents facing child abuse and neglect allegations, and juveniles facing alleged charges. She has served as guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children.
In 2019, Laura co-authored and co-developed two publications, named “Guide for Parents of Children in Need of Care,” and “Training for Volunteers Representing Parents at Protective Custody Hearings.”
Laura Higgins Tyler earned her law degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1981.