Edited By: Bailey Mohr
Photography: Bradley Snyder
“Fight hard because you never know when it's going to be you or someone you love. Be willing to be to fight hard, to be uncomfortable, to be called the devil.”
- Thomas Kissell
Thomas Kissell is the leading defense attorney and founder of Kissell Law Group who’s mission is “zealously protecting and defending good people who made a bad decision.” Tom is the first lawyer in his family, so he is very passionate in defending those in need. As a person who has personal experience on how making a bad decision can have serious consequences, but also how the system can be used against a person rather than protecting them, he fights for those who would be taken advantage of by the system. Tom chooses to work as a criminal defense attorney as he feels, similar to Benjamin Franklin, when he quoted “That it is better 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer.”
GL: Were you born and raised in Missouri?
TK: “I was born in Saint Charles County, now I live in Saint Louis. I went to Mizzou and there I realized how closed off I was, I thought I came from a wealthier family and then I met kids whose families had boats worth 5 houses in the neighborhood I grew up in. I have two offices, one in St. Louis and one in Kansas City so I travel the whole state of Missouri for cases. I get to see the whole perspective of the system.”
GL: What made you decide to stay in St. Louis for work? Culture? Lifestyle? Family?
TK: “Coming back from Mizzou, Clayton was a new world to me. So, I grew up here, but I never came down here, you never crossed the river from Saint Charles to here unless you were
going to a sporting event. So, this was a new world to me, I was able to make connections here and I’m all about expanding my horizons. As soon as I finished law school my wife and I moved here, it was a great place to raise a family. And food. We see this as a small city where we know a lot of people that we look at as a family.”
GL: What drew you to being a criminal defense attorney?
TK: “I was a young kid who made mistakes with drinking and driving so I started off with DWI’s which then led me into traffic stops for drugs…which then also continued into cases relating to consent. In the beginning I had started a company that offered to fix your traffic tickets for $25, which was essentially free, but it ruffled the feathers of companies who created an industry charging huge fees to do the same job.” This exposed the ones who people believe are supposed to be representing them as the ones taking advantage of them.
GL: How did you hear about Gentry’s?
TK: “I was standing at the bar; Dakota came up and we started talking about this sport jacket I had seen a guy wearing in Vegas. When Dakota had approached me, I had already been approached by everyone else to get clothing. At that point I was wearing all Hugo Boss suits that fit me perfectly off the rack. I already loved the suit game at that point, looking good, and people comment on it. I decided I’ll give it a go and buy one piece of clothing and that was twenty pieces ago. But I loved that Dakota was young and that he was a hustler, so I decided to buy one suit to give it a go.”
GL: What’s been your favorite experience working with Dakota at Gentry’s?
TK: “I mean it goes back to when we met and he was young and hustling, I mean people didn’t give me things either, I had no prominent internships, I got an internship at American family where I met some of the most amazing attorneys that helped my career so much, but I had to work for it. But this is a hard question to answer because we are friends now, we’ve become friends, so I love to mess with him.”
GL: How would you say your wardrobe has changed since knowing Dakota?
TK: “Everybody everywhere comments on my attire. There was a day I had to fly to Minnesota about a month ago and I had twelve compliments in a day. Now I’m like I need more I want more because its like a thing. Men and women like my clothes.”
GL: Do you feel like clothes from Gentry’s has helped boost your confidence?
TK: “What I would say to that is that for any job that’s in sales there are different types of confidence. There’s confidence in the company, confidence in the service, and confidence in the person. So, what I try to do is have confidence in all those levels, and when you see me, I want you to feel comfortable, by conveying that confidence. I want them to feel that this guy that they’ve never met, in St. Louis Missouri, is going to take care of them, without question.”
Evidence was also found of Thomas Kissell's modeling career before working with Gentry's Limited.
To contact Thomas Kissell at Kissell Law Group:
PHONE: St. Louis 314-669-4394
Kansas City 816-944-3943