Matt J. O’Laughlin

Matt has devoted his career to representing workers and students who have been treated unfairly by corporations, school administrators, and government agencies. Prior to his work representing employees and students, Matt served the people of the State of Missouri as an Assistant Attorney General. He has successfully tried a wide variety of cases, including sexual harassment, bullying, retaliation, discrimination, negligent misrepresentation, breach of employment contract, and wage and hour violations. Matt understands that trials not only require strategic thinking, but also humanity and compassion. He considers his job to be both an advocate and a guide for his clients, so that they can tell their story with brutal honesty to a fair and impartial jury.

Although Matt has obtained great results for his clients, his cases have also set landmark precedents that have far-reaching protections for workers and students beyond the interests of his clients. He argued the case of Doe ex rel. Subia v. Kansas City Missouri School District, the first case in Missouri to hold that the Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits student-on-student sexual assault and harassment. He also argued Tolentino v. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., the first case in which the Missouri Supreme Court interpreted the Missouri Minimum Wage Law, which held that employers could be held responsible for the failure of their temporary staffing agencies to pay their employees’ wages.

On a more personal level, Matt believes deeply in the service he provides to his clients. From a very young age, he learned the importance of protecting our civil rights, which preserve our equality in the workplace and in school. In the 1960s, his father answered the call to all clergy in the United States to come to the South to stand for civil rights. His childhood was filled with stories of courageous individuals, including his father, who stood for justice and equality even at the risk of physical harm. Continuing this family tradition, Matt is a fearless and unrelenting advocate for his clients against any corporate or government bully who seeks to diminish our proud history of equal justice under the law. He believes that every employee or student who asserts his or her birthright to equal justice, and every juror who vindicates that right, is a part of that history and tradition.


  • UMKC School of Law, 2002; UMKC Law Review, Lead Articles Editor


  • B.A. – 1997, with honors
  • Major: Political Science

Professional Recognition

  • Super Lawyer, Employment Litigation (Plaintiff)
  • National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers
  • AVVO Rating (Peer and Client Reviewed): 10/10 “Superb”
  • James Madison Award

Published Works

  • Contributing Editor (Kansas Chapter), Wage and Hour Laws, A State-by-State Survey, American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law, BNA Books, 2015 Supplement
  • Contributing Editor (Kansas Chapter), Wage and Hour Laws, A State-by-State Survey, American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law, BNA Books, 2014 Supplement
  • The People Can Do No Wrong: An Examination of State and Eleventh Amendment Sovereign Immunity for Missouri’s School Districts, 74 U.M.K.C. L. Rev. 883 (2006)
  • Exigent Circumstances: Circumscribing the Exclusionary Rule in Response to 9/11, 70 U.M.K.C. L. Rev. 707 (2002)

Volunteer Activities and Associations

  • National Association of Employment Attorneys
  • Neighborhood Justice Center Volunteer
  • UMKC, Guest Lecturer – Constitutional Law
  • Webster University, Guest Lecturer – First Amendment Law

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri, 2002
  • Kansas, 2010
  • Washington, 2015

Ratings and Reviews