Zach V. Thomas
The Olathe Criminal Defense Lawyer
I was born and raised in the Kansas City metro area, where I attended Rockhurst high school. I briefly left the area to obtain my undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University. After graduating from Vanderbilt, I returned home to attend law school at the University of Kansas School of Law with the goal of opening my own criminal defense practice.
Worked as a Public Defender litigating many high level feloniesDuring and after law school, I established a solid base of experience in a variety of legal fields, first as an intern, and then as an associate, at law firms practicing insurance defense, corporate law, and general litigation. My primary career goal was to be a litigator—to be in a court room with frequency, making compelling arguments to a jury, negotiating difficult deals, and working directly with clients on a personal level. With that goal in mind, I left the civil side of practice in 2012 and transitioned to criminal defense via the Johnson County Public Defenders Office. My years at the public defender’s office were invaluable. I tried cases before juries, represented clients charged with high level felonies, and established lasting relationships with prosecutors, judges, and my criminal defense colleagues. I learned that many of my clients were innocent and unjustly prosecuted. I learned that my clients who weren’t innocent were typically over-charged and looking at potential sentences that did not seem to fit the crime. Despite a heavy case load, I developed close relationships with my clients and their families, as well as a strong passion to defend them against overzealous police officers and prosecutors.
Client focusedAfter gaining invaluable experience at the public defender’s office, I opened my private law practice. Having my own practice allows me to tailor my client load so that every client receives the detailed attention and focus that they deserve. A client places a great deal of trust in their attorney, particularly when they are faced with a potential jail sentence that may separate them from their family and their freedom. It is humbling when a client places their trust in me, and I strive every day to deserve it by aggressively advocating for my clients.
Experienced as a Judge - to understand all sides of the lawIn addition to my law practice, judges occasionally ask me to pro-tem (act as a “substitute” judge). I love taking the opportunity when it presents itself, as sitting behind the bench allows me to expand my perspective and fine tune my presentation by participating in the criminal court process from a different angle. I also volunteer with KCMBA Military Matters, an organization designed to help military veterans with their legal issues.
You will frequently find me in the office on evenings and weekends, meeting with clients or doing jail visits. When I am not in the office, I enjoy hunting, visiting the dog park with my dog, Nash, and spending time with family and friends.
I am a proud graduate of Rockhurst High School. I completed a double major at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. I graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law. While there, I served as an Articles Editor for the University’s Law Journal. Additionally, I served as President of the Asian Law Students Association. I serve on the boards of the Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City and Encore: the young professional group of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. I am also the President of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association of Kansas City.