Amanda Stanley, who received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Newman University in 2008, started her role as city attorney for the city of Topeka on Monday, Aug. 23.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity to help my local community,” she said. “Topeka adopted me 10 years ago. It’s where I grew up as a lawyer, and I’m excited to use the skills I’ve learned to give back to the community that’s given me so much.”
Leading through law
Stanley said her initial goals are to listen and learn from her constituents.
“I need to first see what the immediate challenges facing the city are, and then I can figure out how to best use my skills to improve on the great work the city is already doing.”
Stanley attended the University of Kansas School of Medicine for two years before withdrawing to pursue a Doctor of Law degree. She graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2014, where she focused on corporate law, health law, worker’s compensation and other employment law issues.
Stanley’s previous roles include serving as general counsel for the League of Kansas Municipalities and working for the Kansas Court of Appeals. In addition, she was named the Outstanding State League Counsel of the Year for the International Municipal Lawyers Association in 2020. She is also a recipient of the Kansas Bar Association 2020 Outstanding Service Award.
Stanley mentioned she enjoys working for local governments as it’s the branch of government closest to the people. It’s also the place where her work can have an immediate impact.
“People don’t think about attorneys until they need them, but we are constantly in the background smoothing problems,” she said. “I love being an advocate for my client. It is a privilege to be someone’s voice that I do not take lightly.”
A degree of difference
Stanley credits Newman with giving her a strong educational foundation. She had a dynamic experience while attending the university, including her time as a resident assistant and a library assistant when the library was located on the third floor of Sacred Heart Hall.
“Newman gave me the knowledge to get into both medical school and law school but, more importantly, it taught me the value of service and connections,” she said. “The strongest asset a person has is their community of people. My Newman community continues to lift me up all these years later.”
That community is what prompts the advice that Stanley would give students at Newman today: “Find a tribe of people who will cheer you on when times are good and hold you up when times are bad.”
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