Awards & RecognitionPractice Areas: Family law dominates Ms. Lawless’s practice, including divorce, property settlement agreements, premarital agreements, paternity actions, and maintenance, with a focus on child custody matters, parenting time, and child support. She has mediation training with an emphasis on domestic mediation and conciliation, and she is certified by the Kansas Supreme Court to perform mediation in domestic cases. Ms. Lawless also has extensive experience as criminal defense attorney. Her criminal defense practice consists of complex federal and state cases, including appeals.
Admitted: In 1991, Ms. Lawless was admitted to practice before the Kansas Supreme Court, all other Kansas courts, and the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
Education: Ms. Lawless graduated from Wichita State University in 1988, magna cum laude. She continued on to Washburn University School of Law, where she graduated with Dean’s Honors in 1991. While in law school, Ms. Lawless was the Executive Editor for the Washburn Law Journal. She clerked for Shawnee County District Court Judge William Carpenter during law school, and served as a research aid for Professor Nancy Maxwell at Washburn Law School.
Professional History: After graduating from law school, Ms. Lawless was an Assistant Appellate Defender from July 1991 through May 1994. In that capacity, she regularly appeared before the Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Court of Appeals. In May of 1994, she joined the Public Defender’s Trial Office, representing clients in all levels of felony cases. By 1997, she was Senior Trial Attorney for the Northeast Kansas Conflict Office, providing felony representation in Shawnee County and off-grid felony representation in surrounding counties. She joined Joseph & Hollander in July of 1999.
Membership and Ratings: Ms. Lawless is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the Topeka Bar Association, the Douglas County Bar Association, the TBA Family Law Committee, the Topeka Lawyers Club, the Women Attorney’s Association of Topeka, Heartland Mediators Association and Sam A. Crow Inn of Court. Ms. Lawless was named Lawyer of the Year for 2012 in criminal defense by Best Lawyers®. She was named among the Kansas City area’s Legal Elite in the October 2011 issue of Ingram’s Magazine.
Special Notes: Ms. Lawless has attended the National Criminal Defense College at Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia; has been an Adjunct Professor at Washburn School of Law and at Washburn University; was a guest speaker at the National Child Abuse Defense Conference in Reno, Nevada; served as a panel member at the National Women’s Attorney conference in Lindsborg, Kansas; has been a frequent guest speaker at Washburn School of Law; and has delivered continuing legal education lectures for the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Ms. Lawless has also served as a pro tem judge in the District Court of Shawnee County, Kansas.