You can take the attorney out of Springfield, but you can’t take a connection to Springfield out of the attorney.
At least, that’s the case for Emily Kembell, who left the Ozarks for college in Texas, followed by a pre-law summer study program in England and law school in New York.
She returned to Springfield after 12 years and is a trust and estate associate at Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown PC.
Kembell attributes her decision to build her career in the Ozarks to Leadership Springfield, a program she participated in first during high school. Later, she completed the adult program, a nine-month class that connects participants with community problems, needs, opportunities and resources.
“I have been told that I am only the second person to have participated in both programs,” she says. “This is truly my proudest accomplishment to date because although I took a roundabout road to get back to Springfield, I ultimately determined that Springfield is the best place for me to excel professionally and also personally. I learned a lot while I was away for 12 years, and one of the most important things that I learned was how great Springfield really is.”
At Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown, Kembell works in estate planning and administration, drafting wills and business succession planning, and managing trusts, including revocable living trusts.
Kembell emphasizes leadership through team-building.
“In order to be a leader, you must have the respect of those around you,” Kembell says, noting she takes time to collaborate with her assistants in order to instill a sense of teamwork. “As a leader and mentor to these individuals, I have hopefully taught many things, but more importantly, I can say that I have learned even more.”
In a classic give-and-take relationship, Kembell includes her team in the decision-making process and asks for input as they work together to ensure the best outcome for clients.
Kembell also is dedicated to volunteering in the community, driven by a desire to help others and to set an example that encourages others to give back. She serves as the nominating chairwoman for the Springfield Workshop Board of Trustees and is part of an exploratory committee investigating ways to improve the lives of citizens with disabilities through the organization. She also spent two years guiding troubled youth through Greene County Teen Court.
A past chairwoman of Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association’s probate and trust committee, Kembell led discussions of new legislation.
“After reaching a consensus on what we liked and disliked about the legislative proposals, I sent our committee’s recommendation on the new legislation to the (state) bar association,” she says.
“It was a very empowering experience to know that our committee had an impact on legislation affecting our everyday lives.”Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.