Dan Baldwin 2013-10-25 12:28:50
“I find the study of law to be an intellectual challenge. I enjoy solving problems and advocating for my clients. Every day is different because no two cases are ever exactly the same,” says Shannon Kelly, sole practitioner at Kelly Law Office, PLC in Chandler. Kelly’s practice areas are family law, including divorce, legal separation, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal maintenance, modifications, enforcement, parental relocation disputes, legal name changes, and orders of protection. She also practices estate planning including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills. It is a career choice that demands a wide variety of experience and the ability to handle many equally varied challenges and sometimes unexpected opportunities at the same time. “As a solo practitioner, an attorney must be skilled at multi-tasking. It is challenging to practice law and manage the administrative and business tasks,” she says. Kelly was born in Sioux Falls, S.D. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in biology from the University of South Dakota in 1998 where she was a member of the National Honor Society in psychology, the Golden Key National Honor Society and Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society. She earned her master’s degree in public administration and graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2004. “I first decided to attend law school aft er taking criminal law and procedure classes in graduate school while earning my master’s in public administration,” says Kelly. Her honors at the University of South Dakota include the Dean’s Certificate/ CALI Award, Highest Grade Legal Research and the Alan Bogue Excellence in Legal Writing Award. While attending the university, she served as a graduate assistant for the USD Law School Foundation, worked as an associate for LexisNexis, and was the managing editor for the South Dakotan Lawyer Magazine and the South Dakota Law Review. Aft er graduating from law school at the University of South Dakota, Kelly served as a law clerk for three judges in the First Judicial Circuit of South Dakota, comprised of fourteen counties. Working in that environment provided Kelly with a unique opportunity to work closely with judges, develop her research and legal writing skills, and learn about all aspects of the trial process. It was during her clerkship that she decided to practice family law. “The three judges that I clerked for taught me invaluable lessons about the judicial process and decision-making. The clerkship exposed me to lawyers with both good and bad oral and written advocacy skills. I am also lucky to have several trusted colleagues that I consult about professional opportunities, recent legal decisions, and the dynamics of law office management,” Kelly says. Kelly was admitted to the State Bar of South Dakota in 2005. In 2006, she was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona and was licensed to appear before the U.S. District Court of Arizona. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the Maricopa County Bar Association. “Aft er moving to Arizona, I worked for a couple of law firms before deciding to start my own practice in 2008,” Kelly says. When not multitasking at her office, in legal proceedings or meeting with clients, Kelly enjoys traveling, attending concerts, sporting events and festivals. Kelly believes her position as an experienced sole practioner gives her a unique perspective, which benefits clients seeking legal help in solving family law challenges. “The marketing of my firm exclusively consists of referrals from other attorneys and satisfied clients. I also believe that because I have a small firm with less overhead, I am able to pass savings on to my clients in the fees that I charge. I find it rewarding to help clients through the most stressful and difficult experiences of their lives,” she says.
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