Attorney, Edelman & Thompson, Kansas City
Steffanie Stracke does her best to help guide her clients through a trying time of their lives.
“Oftentimes, when you’ve been injured on the job, you don’t understand what’s happening,” said Stracke, 55. “Everything is outside your control. Being able to answer people’s questions and walk them through an unfamiliar process while making sure they get all the benefits they are entitled to under the law, I find that rewarding.”
A native of Lebanon, Mo., Stracke grew up in Columbia and earned her J.D. from the University of Missouri to fulfill the dream she’d had ever since writing a paper on Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in elementary school.
Stracke said that she and her mother represent the second mom and daughter duo to graduate from Mizzou’s law school in the institution’s history.
After first working in personal injury litigation, Stracke moved into workers compensation defense and eventually obtained a gubernatorial appointment to a legal advisor position at the Missouri Department of Workers Compensation. She’s now been at Edelman and Thompson for 18 years representing claimants who have been injured on the job.
Her nominator calls her “the most skilled, caring and compassionate attorney” with whom they’ve ever worked.
“I can state unequivocally that on every case — and on both sides of the bench — Steffanie not only is a zealous advocate but also an absolute professional and ideal example of what working for justice means,” they wrote.
Stracke said the greatest benefit comes from assisting others and witnessing what it can do for them.
“I guess I like helping people and you can see the direct benefits of being able to help somebody get back on their feet both medically and financially,” she said. “You develop a personal relationship with the clients. I have one family that I’ve represented three generations in workers compensation claims.”
She said she is clearly seeing women making advancements in the practice.
“I think women are good listeners and therefore good advocates for people,” she said. “Also, they are pretty good multitaskers generally.”