Montana Legal Justice attorneys ensure that our clients are informed, educated, and empowered during every step of their path to justice.
Our lawyers are approachable, accessible, and dedicated to specifically tailoring legal services to each of our client’s individual needs.
Shannon Hathaway has been with Montana Legal Justice since 2012 and became a partner in 2015. Shannon graduated with honors from the University of Montana School of Law in May 2014 and was admitted to practice in all Montana state courts in September. Shannon focuses her practice on increasing access to justice for family law litigants, protecting the rights of children in foster care and advocating for the adherence to the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Shannon graduated with honors and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Montana in 2008. Before law school, Shannon worked in the mental health field, primarily with severely emotionally disturbed children. She worked for a non-profit foster care and adoption agency and at an elementary school through an organization committed to helping emotionally disturbed children on a day-to-day basis within the school setting. It was through counseling these children she found her passion for public interest work.
Throughout law school, Shannon remained committed to volunteering, spending her extra time at the Self-Help Law Center, Crime Victim’s Advocates and the Youth Homes. She was also a member of various student organizations, including the Montana Public Interest Law Coalition and the OUTlaws.
Shannon enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, her daughter, and fur-baby Risdon and thinks there is nothing better than Missoula in the summer.
Kelly Driscoll joined Montana Legal Justice in the fall of 2016 and became a partner in 2018. Kelly is a third generation Montanan and was raised in Butte, Montana. She attended the University of Montana and graduated with high honors in 2010. Before law school, Kelly worked for an organization assisting victims of domestic violence. This experience drove her interest in working to close the access to justice gap in Montana.
Kelly obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law, with honors, in 2014. While in law school, Kelly represented students through the ASUM Legal Services, worked as a prosecutor for the Lewis and Clark County Attorney’s Office, and interned for the Honorable Jeremiah C. Lynch, U.S. Magistrate Judge, District of Montana. Following law school, Kelly clerked for the Honorable Chief Justice Mike McGrath of the Montana Supreme Court.
Kelly is admitted to practice in Montana’s state and federal courts. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys baking, hiking, and spending time with her two kids, husband, and extended family.
Westen Young has been a partner at Montana Legal Justice in 2019. Westen graduated Law school in 2018, and is licensed to practice in all Montana courts. While in law school Westen worked with Montana Legal Justice as a legal intern, and also interned at Montana Legal Services Association where he was able to assist individuals with issues in family law. After law school Westen served as a public defender in Yellowstone County, where he helped low income clients, and honed his trial skills and court room experience.
Westen is a three-time graduate from the University of Montana with an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies with honors, a Bachelor of Art degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Inequality and Social Justice and honors, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Alexander Blewitt III School of Law. Raised on a cattle ranch in Northeastern Montana, Westen is no stranger to hard work, and has dedicated his educational and legal career to understanding how he can assist his clients in navigating their rights in the legal system. He is passionate about ensuring that all clients have equal access to quality legal representation.
In his spare time, Westen enjoys reading, volunteering at local support service organizations that serve historically marginalized populations and exploring Missoula’s excellent hiking trails and public lands with his dog, Rusty.
Lael Gabrian joined Montana Legal Justice in early 2018 and practices in the areas of criminal law, family law, dependency and neglect, and has particular training for and knowledge about cases that involve the Indian Child Welfare Act. She is licensed to practice in all Montana courts and in the Tribal Court of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Lael’s past experience includes working for the Office of the State Public Defender in Lake County where she defended indigent clients charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes, or those involved in dependency and neglect cases, involuntary commitments, and guardianships.
Lael is a native Montanan, born and raised on a ranch in southern Montana. She graduated with High Honors from the University of Montana with a double Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Spanish in 2003. After a brief stint in Yellowstone National Park, Lael became the manager of a local boutique.
She obtained her Juris Doctorate, along with a Natural Resources and Law Certificate, in May 2015 and was admitted to the Montana State Bar in the autumn of that year. During law school, Lael was active in various student groups including the Environmental Law Group, Women’s Law Caucus, and the Rural Advocacy League. While in school she interned at the Department of Natural Resources and worked as a Prosecutor for the Carbon County Attorney’s Office, where she discovered her interest in Criminal Law.
Lael enjoys exploring trails in hiking boots or on cross-country skis, shopping at thrift stores, remodeling her 1920’s house, playing scrabble, and causing a raucous with her book club.
Kate McCann is the Office Manager at Montana Legal Justice. She has worked for MTLJ since May 2018 and is a graduate of The University Montana, where she studied political science and history as well as Central and Southwest Asian Studies. She was born and raised in Montana.
In her off time, Kate enjoys spending time with family and friends, parenting her three unruly canine children and exploring anything new Missoula has to offer.
Risdon Hathaway is a furry assistant with MTLJ who hails from Missoula, MT. He loves to greet our clients and show them around the office. He enjoys napping on his bed, treats and hiking with his family.
Julie Brown was a co-founding attorney of Montana Legal Justice, PLLC. Julie graduated with honors from the University of Montana School of Law in May 2011. While with Montana Legal Justice, Julie focused her legal work on Dependency and Neglect Cases, Family Law and Appeals. Regardless of where her work took her, Julie remained passionate about issues of social justice and equal access to the law. As she continues on a new career path outside of the law, she will continue to bring these values with her.