Meri K. Althauser
Meri is a Missoula native, outdoor enthusiast, and mom to two girls in middle school and pre-school. She and her husband Andy are avidly involved in many Missoula activities and events. Meri graduated from Law School in 2011 where she attended with the goal of practicing child-centered legal work. After years of working in the social service realm she decided that working in the legal field on behalf of protecting and advocating for children at risk was the career path she needed to follow. All of Meri's services are centered around resolution for the sake of keeping life calm and preserved for the children involved. Meri completed her undergraduate education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, receiving a degree in Psychology with a minor in Violin Performance. Her previous work history includes working as a case manager at Big Brother's Big Sisters of Missoula and with the Missoula WoRC Program, performing crisis management at the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley, and as attorney at Phillips Haffey, PC and as partner at Montana Legal Justice, a public interest law firm providing a range of legal services to Missoulians on a sliding scale.
You can usually find Meri working together with her retired therapy dog, Trapper, in her office.
Western Montana Bar Association:
Director 2015-2017; Vice President 2017-2018; President 2018-2019
Western Montana Bar Association Pro Bono Committee:
Chair 2015-2017; Member 2017-current
State Bar of Montana New Lawyers Section:
Trustee 2014-2015; Vice-Chair 2015-2016; Chair 2016-2017
Access to Justice Commission Law School Partnerships Committee:
Member Winter 2015-2016
American Bar Association:
Delegate to 2016 and 2017 conferences
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Missoula:
Volunteer trainer 2011-current, Volunteer 2006-2013
Montana Legal Justice, PLLC:
Partner and Attorney 2013-2017
Phillips Haffey PC:
Missoula County Attorney's Office, U.S. Department of Justice.
University of Montana School of Law,
To ensure the best child-centered and solution-focused services, Meri attends multiple additional trainings annually:
Collaborative Law, Montana Collaborative Professionals
Parenting Coordination Training, Cooperative Parenting Institute
Basic and Advanced Mediation Training, Community Dispute Resolution Center
Redbook Training, National Association of Counsel for children
New Leaders Council, Leadership training
Various classes relevant to guardian ad litem and parenting, including: parental alienation, childhood trauma and ACEs, family immigration, CASA training, Circle of Security, positive discipline, and various domestic violence trainings.
Non legal involvement
In addition to her legal and family systems education, Meri is an outdoor enthusiast and health and wellness coach through Monkeybar Gym Missoula. She is a certified natural trainer and teaches fun and functional fitness classes, while providing general management oversight for the gym. She participates in various trail and road events throughout the year, and is regularly involved with events through Missoula's great non-profits such as Garden City Harvest and the Youth Farm, SpectrUM, and CASA of Missoula.