Aaron House is all about serving others.
House is one-half of House Packard LLC, the law firm that he operates with his cousin Jenny House Packard (www.housepackard.com).
“We’re really focused on marginalized people — we serve the LGBT community, financially marginalized people, injury,” House says.
“We help people that really need it, who aren’t taken care of by our society.”
House received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from UMKC in 2001 and worked as a server (“my first career,” he says) and at the University of Kansas Medical Center in inpatient psychiatry. But after a discussion with a family member who was working as a judge, his interest in law was piqued. He attended UMKC School of Law and graduated with honors in 2005.
He worked as a law clerk for a Kansas City injury firm and then for a Missouri Supreme Court judge, and practiced with Polsinelli PC and Husch Blackwell LLP. For four years, he was an assistant clinical professor of law at UMKC.
He formed the House Law Firm LLC in 2012 to serve clients who had sought him out. In the summer of 2014, his cousin Jenny House Packard joined him, and together they focus on three main areas: estate planning, injury and bankruptcy.
“I think there’s something really cool about being someone that people go to when they’re in need,” House says. “Lawyers problem-solve. We try to help people with their problems in any context.”
House reaches out to the community when he’s not practicing law, as well. He co-founded KC Legal (Kansas City LEsbian, Gay and Allied Lawyers) bar association. He is working with Midwest Alternative Family Alliance on developing a panel discussion on LGBT legal issues, including estate planning. That panel will be held March 7 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.
“You hear it all the time, that marriage is just a piece of paper,” he says. “But it grants a lot of rights and obligations because it’s licensed by the state. … There’s no reason those rights shouldn’t flow to same-sex couples. Really, it’s proclaiming to the world that this is my family.
“President Obama was talking years ago about his daughters coming home from school and mentioning someone they knew with two mommies or daddies. For the younger generations, marriage is going to be marriage. And the only way that comes about is by people being who they are. The ability to affect change occurs by getting to know somebody else. It affects us when it’s someone we care about. It’s about visibility.”
One of the ways that House stays visible is through his work with his Methodist church as a congregational care minister. He also is on the steering committee for the Reformation Project, a Christian organization that trains less-LGBT-friendly churches in affirming theology. House is excited about the project, saying, “It’s a tall order, but the reason I’m passionate about it is because I think it’s the last segment of our society that’s not letting go and embracing LGBT people.”
House, who joined the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in 2014, says that his religion is an important part of his life. He points out that Jesus was consistently shown in scriptures as serving the marginalized. “I love Him, because He was always reaching out. He always extended grace,” House says.
“I believe we are here not to judge, but to extend grace to a world that really, desperately needs it.”
And at House Packard, he’s working on doing just that.
Photo: Landon Vonderschmidt
The Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MAGLCC) is an organization that advocates, promotes and facilitates the success of the LGBT business community and its allies. Learn more at MAGLCC.org.