legal assistants and staff

  • Waona

  • Melissa Legal Assistant


  • Shannon

  • Michelle Legal Assistant


  • Yenny legal assistant


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Waona has worked as an assistant to Bill Phalen since 1989, following him from a previous firm. She received her paralegal certification in 1987 from Platt Business College in Topeka, KS. Although she’s experienced in criminal, domestic, estate planning and personal injury cases, she currently focuses on workers’ compensation claims. Waona values the rights of injured workers and strives to see justice served. She and her husband, Michael, enjoy spending time outdoors with their teenage children. Their family is active in baseball, basketball and cross country and Waona occasionally participates in charity 5K races.

Melissa has been a member of our team since 2002. She worked briefly as a legal assistant in California and for another local practice before coming to work for The Law Office of William L. Phalen. She has worked as a legal assistant in both our Social Security and Personal Injury departments, but is currently dedicated to the Workers’ Compensation department. She is tireless in her efforts to assist injured workers. Melissa and her husband, Josh, spend their evenings in the bleachers cheering on their 3 young children who are active in youth athletics.

Shannon has been with The Law Office of William L. Phalen since 2006 serving as legal assistant in the Social Security Department.  Before joining our team she worked with children at the NADO-Alternative School. Shannon is the mother of one son.  In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends and traveling to fun destinations such as Cancun, Mexico.

Michelle is a legal assistant working full time in our Joplin office.  She received her paralegal certification at MSSU.  She works hard assisting our Missouri Clients in workers compensation claims.    A native of the Carl Junction Missouri area, Michelle enjoys hunting and fishing with her family.

Yenny works as a bilingual legal assistant in our Kansas City office. Born in Colombia, South America, she graduated with a degree in Bilingual Communications before moving to the United States in 1999. Throughout her career in Colombia and the United States, Yenny has held several managerial roles and has provided unmatched service as an administrative assistant. She brings to The Law Office of William L. Phalen proven work ethic and dedication. In her spare time, Yenny enjoys spending time with her daughters and listening to Colombian music.