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2022 Up & Coming Awards: Joe McGroder, 33

Associate, Graves Garrett, Kansas City

Joe McGroderPractice Areas: White Collar, Commercial Litigation

Law School: University of Kansas

Joe McGroder is a young attorney, but he is seasoned enough to have learned a few lessons to pass along to other up-and-comers in the profession. At the top of this list is his recommendation to stay relaxed.

“In law and in life, the more relaxed you are, the better you are at basically everything, and as it relates to the practice of law, that includes articulating your message effectively,” he says.

McGroder admits staying relaxed can be difficult in many pressure-packed legal settings, but thorough preparation will see you through unexpected developments and help you maintain your composure.

“With the right preparation, you’ll have created a repository of the crucial information you can turn to whenever you start feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable,” he says. “And if that’s too much to remember, just take a deep breath and remind yourself you’ve already made it and it’s going to be fine.”

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

My Mom is an attorney, so that was a big part of it. But also, our pop culture is unequivocal that being a lawyer is awesome, so that probably factored in too.

What has been your favorite moment as an attorney?

Taking a case to trial and winning. With all the work that’s involved — researching, drafting, the preparation, developing a strategy, making tough decisions, collaborating with colleagues, executing a plan, thinking on your feet, lying awake at night and running scenarios through your head. When you endure that, and you win, there’s no better feeling.

Up & Coming Awards 2022