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Family Practice

Spigarelli sisters follow father's footsteps at family law firm.

Kala, Fred and Angela Spigarelli

From School of Law Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2018

Fred Spigarelli, ’70, started a solo practice in Pittsburg, Kansas, right after graduating. Through the years, several other lawyers have worked with him, and now it’s his two daughters who are practicing beside him at The Spigarelli Law Firm.

Kala Spigarelli, ’90, and Angela Spigarelli, ’98, grew up in Pittsburg around their father’s practice before going away for undergraduate degrees. Kala went to Arizona State University, and Angela to the University of Kansas. They were both drawn to legal careers and chose Washburn University School of Law to further their education because of their father.

“Being a legacy at Washburn swayed me to go there,” Angela said.

Kala worked at a large firm in Kansas City after graduating, and Angela worked in a few places throughout the country. They both wanted to come back to be part of what their father had built. Kala started at the firm in 1992 and Angela in 2011.

“I wanted to be in a smaller firm and practice on the plaintiff side, and that was what my dad had developed,” Kala said. “When he started, he did everything. He basically cut his practice down to plaintiff cases and personal injury in the 80s.”

It’s a chance for the sisters to be close while learning from their father.

“We’re six years apart, so we didn’t get to spend that much time together growing up,” Kala said. "It is fun to work with families. I have learned a lot from my dad over the years. He was a great trial lawyer all his life. Getting to be his daughter and practice with him has been an honor.”

The family enjoys keeping up with what’s going on at Washburn Law, and they just hired a recent alumna as an attorney – Kaylyn Hite, ’18, who worked for them as a law clerk over the last two summers.

The Spigarelli sisters see strong upsides to having a family practice, despite being together so often. They have offices in Pittsburg and Coffeyville, and their areas of practice include personal injury, workers' compensation, and general litigation.

“We always joke that the downside is you never quite get away from the business,” Angela said. “The positive would be open and honest communication at all times. It’s not a formal environment. We all speak our minds.”

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