Wichita's newest law firm is women- and minority-ownedPosted: Updated:
Wichita attorneys Kimberlyn Gilchrist and Jasmine Fields decided that they wanted to provide a more holistic approach to law, so they've stepped out on their own.
Most recently associates with DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers, Gilchrist and Fields launched their own firm last month. It specializes in business entity, family legacy and individual restoration legal services. They are a women- and minority-owned general practice law firm, with an office at 1829 W. 13th St.
Both women knew early on that they would make great business partners.
"We had similar values, similar passions," Fields said.
"I always wanted to be a business owner at some point in my life," Gilchrist added, "and after going through law school and starting my legal career, that vision became more clear."
Gilchrist is a Wichita native and earned her law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. Besides family law — whether that's estate planning, divorce, adoption or the drafting of wills or trusts — Gilchrist said she has a passion for business, contract and real-estate law.
"It starts at the conception of an idea of a business, and then the growth and development of a business," she pointed out.
The Wichita Business Journal reports that Fields is from the Kansas City area. She earned her degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Her husband's active duty military career in the Navy brought the couple to the Wichita area.
Her background is in criminal law and individual restoration. Fields is active with the Midwest Innocence Project, the NAACP and the Kansas DUI Impact Center.
"What I really wanted to do was to provide an area of growth for individuals," Fields said. "Yes, many people have made mistakes in the past, so I wanted to help them rectify those situations and start building on from where they are right now."
Together, the duo is also passionate about representing schools and churches in the Wichita area. Both women teach mock trials at Faith Academy in west Wichita.
Gilchrist & Fields is leasing a 1,500 square-foot office on 13th Street. Fields offered that they plan to hire two employees in 2020 to grow the business.
It is important, they said, to start a firm that is both approachable and compassionate — but also will be aggressive in advocating for clients' needs.
And as women-owned business, they say they have a clear message:
"Yes, I’m a mother and the wife of a sailor, but I’m also an attorney and that was a goal for me in my life," Field said. "We are really supportive of that in our individual lives ... and when we do plan on adding staff, we want that to be something that resonates through our culture at our firm."
The advantage of practicing general law, they say, is that Gilchrist & Fields can have a larger impact in the community. For example, the person who has has had too many traffic tickets may one day wish to start a business, adopt a child or draft a will. They may be involved in their child's school or in their church.
"It’s not just about the individuals or the business, but it’s also the community," Fields said. "I want every person to come in the door to see that progression.... We want to be able to provide you with services that are going to take you to the next level."