Attributing much of her success to her hard work and her passion for helping and representing children, Kristyn Snyer McKenna holds considerable expertise in juvenile law, family law and special education appeals. First earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of the Holy Cross in 1990, she followed her longstanding desire to help children to the Law School at Suffolk University, where she obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1993. She was licensed to practice law by the Massachusetts State Bar later that same year.
Since 1994, Ms. Snyer McKenna has excelled as an attorney with the Law Office of Kristyn Snyer McKenna, where her responsibilities focus on child custody, visitation, adoption and guardianship. Her firm also handles matters concerning special education appeals, delinquency, drug and alcohol possession, drunk driving, assault and battery, probation violations, and theft and related crimes. Additionally, Ms. Snyer McKenna proffered her expertise to the next generation of professionals as an adjunct professor in the master’s in education program at Fitchburg State University from 1995 to 2017.
Noted for her compassion toward her clients, Ms. Snyer McKenna further stands out in her field for the approach she takes in looking at the whole family and working to help clients see all sides of the argument. She cites that the most important thing she has learned over the years is making sure that you are paying attention to all the details and are listening carefully to your clients before responding. Looking toward the future, Ms. Syner McKenna has plans to apply to be a judge and hopes to leave a legacy as someone who would always listen and is empathetic toward her clients and peers alike.
Alongside her primary career responsibilities, Ms. Snyer McKenna is a regular presenter in her field. Most recently, she gave the presentation “Administration of Antipsychotic Medication to Minors in Custody of the Department of Children and Families” at the Committee for Public Counsel Services Annual Conference in 2019. She also maintains professional affiliation with the Juvenile Justice Center, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Greater Lowell Bar Association, the Massachusetts Juvenile Bar Association and the National Association for Counsel for Children.
Ms. Snyer McKenna has been active in her local community as well, and has served as the clerk of the executive board of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell since 2018 and as a board member since 2015. She has also been very involved with the St. Camillus Catholic Church, where she has been the music director since 2005, and the Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities, where she has been a board member since 2008 and the vice chair since 2017. She was previously a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
For excellence in her career, Ms. Snyer McKenna has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. In 2008, she was presented with the Jay D. Blitzman Award for Youth Advocacy by the Committee for Public Counsel Services. More recently, she was recognized for her work with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, which presented her with a 5 Year Service Pin and the National Service Youth Award in 2020. Above these honors, Ms. Snyer McKenna considers the highlight of her career to be her ability to help her clients and all the success she has had making a difference in their lives over the past two decades. A particular moment of pride for her was when she was able to get two siblings placed together with their uncle.
Ms. Snyer McKenna was born in Concord, Massachusetts, to parents John and Anne Marie Syner. Happily married to her husband, William “Bill” McKenna, for many years, she has four adult stepchildren and one step-grandchild. In her free time, she enjoys singing, biking and spending time with her dog.