Rising Star Award | Nicole Revenaugh
Nicole Revenaugh was raised in a blue-collar family in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2008, she received a Bachelor of Arts in history from William Jewell College and graduated with Dean’s Honors from Washburn University School of Law in 2012. For the next six years, Nicole practiced law as a civil litigation attorney at Palmer Law Group, LLP.
In 2017, Nicole served as the co-campaign manager for Mayor Michelle De La Isla’s mayoral campaign. Following her election, she became the volunteer director for the Mayor’s Community Outreach Team. At the beginning of 2019, Nicole became a minority business owner and partner at Irigonegaray, Turney, & Revenaugh, L.L.P.—the first majority LGBT-owned law firm in the state of Kansas. There, she has had the opportunity to expand her practice to include civil rights, social justice, family law, estate planning, and civil litigation.
In May, Nicole was appointed Judge Pro Tem of the Shawnee County District Court’s Small Claims, Eviction, and Limited Action dockets on an interim basis. She also serves on the boards of the Women Attorneys Association of Topeka (Past President), YWCA Advocacy Committee, Mayor’s Task Force Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Topeka Downtown Rotary (Membership Chair), and the Mayor’s Community Outreach Team.
Q&A with TK Business
TK: What inspires you?
NICOLE: I have a passion for service. I would do anything for the people that I love and the causes I believe in. Thankfully, I have been able to channel that passion into some very special opportunities. In 2016, I marched with millions of women in Washington, D.C. and returned home knowing that I wanted to be more involved in my community. A few months later, I had the opportunity to serve on Mayor De La Isla’s mayoral campaign, which showed me the power of civic engagement and servant leadership. And now, having the extraordinary privilege of opening a law firm and working with my partners, especially Pedro Irigonegaray, who has done incredible work in civil rights and social justice—inspires me to go the extra mile for those I serve every day.
TK: What drives you?
NICOLE: Many people have motivated me throughout my life. My father taught me the value of work ethic by watching him work shift after shift at a chemical plant so that I could play in competitive sports as a kid. My best friends challenge me every day to grow and become the best person I can be for myself and my family. But there is one conversation that will motivate me for the rest of my life. About a year after I graduated from law school, my grandfather asked me what I was going to do next. I thought he wanted me to talk about the next case I was working on at my law firm. After I had finished dragging on about legal issues, he said, “No, what are you going to do next?” That is the question that I will carry me with the rest of my life. It’s like a hunger that can never be satisfied, and it inspires me to keep moving forward. I know that whatever I do next, I will keep making my grandfather proud.
TK: What advice do you have for others?
NICOLE: Work hard, find your grit, and never settle for less. Stay true to your values and pull others up with you along the way. Most of all, keep fighting. Fight for leadership positions. Fight for equal pay. Fight for your seat at the table, in the board rooms, and in public office. And if they won’t give you a seat at the table, build your own damn table.
TK: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?
NICOLE: My grandmother. Hands-down. She was not only an amazing woman, and a person I aspire to emulate, but for many years, she was my best friend. During law school, I would drive to her house on Tuesday evenings, mow the yard, and listen to her share stories about adventures throughout her life while we ate dinner and drank wine. My grandmother exposed me to books, music, theatre, the arts, and multicultural foods. I owe so much of who I am to her. She passed away in 2013, and I would give anything to share one more conversation or meal with her.