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2022 Up & Coming Awards: Kelly Frickleton, 31

Associate, Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader, PC, Leawood, Kansas

Kelly FrickletonPractice Areas: Plaintiffs’ civil litigation

Law School: University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Show up early. Work hard. Always take the high road. Those three guiding principles have helped Kelly Frickleton succeed in her legal career.

Recently, she obtained settlement approval in a case her firm had been working on for many months. “Our client is a single mom about my age,” Frickleton says. “Her daughter was badly injured and requires a lot of care. We did the approval hearing virtually. When we logged off, our client burst into tears of relief, knowing her daughter will be taken care of. The work of civil litigation can feel limiting in what you can do for clients, but this was not one of those times.”

Frickleton grew up with lawyer parents, but she didn’t express much interest in the law until the end of college. A fan of “The West Wing” television series, she realized all her favorite characters were lawyers. She also saw that there are many different ways to use a law degree. Her desire to help people and serve the greater good became the catalyst for her career path.

Today, when talking with young lawyers, she tells them: “Remember that your life and path are your own. Your value is in your life experiences. Bringing your whole self to the work will result in better outcomes and help keep you grounded.”

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I was an acting major in college.

What is your biggest accomplishment this year?  

Prioritizing my mental well-being and getting into therapy. Some people think it is taboo to talk about this. Purposefully taking the time to sit with myself and my emotions has made me a more productive and creative lawyer.

Up & Coming Awards 2022