February 10, 2020
Partner Debbie Blakely, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, joined White, Graham, Buckley & Carr in 2002. She has earned local and national recognition as a Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer, and is deeply involved in the legal community, where she’s a member of the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, National Employment Lawyers Association and the KCMBA. Debbie also completed the KCMBA Leadership Academy. She currently serves as the secretary for the National Employment Lawyers Association Kansas City Affiliate.
In her practice, Debbie focuses on earning her clients’ trust so they can rely on her and the team during the most stressful times.
Debbie has extensive experience in representing clients in employment discrimination cases which range from sexual harassment, gender discrimination, race discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblowing. In addition, she has successfully opposed numerous arbitration agreements against sports teams and well-known large corporations that have attempted to force their employees into arbitration rather than a trial by jury.
Read on to learn more about Debbie in our Attorney Spotlight:
Why did you want to become an attorney? What made you decide on this field?
“I enjoy analyzing issues, researching the law, and applying the law to the unique facts and issues of a specific case.”
What do you enjoy most about working at WGB&C?
“The firm has an excellent reputation in the legal community; it is always nice to work for an employer that is well-respected. The firm is also very family-oriented and allowed me to balance life during my years as a single mom and as an attorney.”
What is your most significant memory or case in your career?
“What really stands out is the appalling and discriminatory behavior that many employers and/or their managers engage in. The fact that such behaviors still exist in the workplace in 2020 is shocking.
Another very significant development occurred when the Missouri Legislature amended the Missouri Human Rights Act, effective in August 2017. The changes were sweeping and severely impacted the rights of Missouri workers. It was a very disappointing change in Missouri law.”
What is the best thing about being a plaintiff’s attorney?
“The feeling of representing the underdog, and achieving justice for victims of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”
What inspires you?
“The hope to achieve equality.”
What is the best advice you can give an up-and-coming attorney?
“Work hard to balance personal life and work life. Organization is a big factor in a successful practice.”
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
“I have a variety of hobbies, including horseback riding, kayaking, gardening, painting, reading, traveling, and activities with family and friends.”