Top Attorney – Mary F. Kelly

White Plains, NY WW/Press/May 28, 2019– Mary F. Kelly Founding Member of Kelly & Knaplund was selected for inclusion into the Top Attorneys of North America 2019-2020 edition of The Who’s Who Directories.

The accomplishments attained by Ms. Mary F. Kelly in the field of Legal Services warrants inclusion into The Top Attorneys of North America.

“I am dedicated to helping my clients through divorce and family matters.” – Mary F. Kelly

Kelly & Knaplund is a well-established firm in White Plains, NY,with offices in Tarrytown, NY serving Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties and Manhattan. They provide better outcomes for individuals and families who need a divorce lawyer or family law attorney. The law firm also provide legal service in collaborative law, mediation, estate planning and residential real estate. At Kelly & Knaplund they are skilled at settling difficult child support matters and creating custody agreements and parenting plans that are fair to parents and children. They will give you options to help you choose the best course of action and  guide you to a positive, successful outcome that works for your life.

Mary F. Kelly, a founding member of Kelly & Knaplund, has practiced family law in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess, and New York counties since 1978. She has been admitted to practice law in the State of New York since 1972, in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. Ms. Kelly is a divorce and family law attorney who also does adoptions, residential real estate, and wills/estate planning. Her primary focus is helping families in crisis, creating custody agreements that protect children and secure parental rights, settling divorce actions with a minimum of conflict, obtaining settlement agreements that keep legal costs down, preserving assets, and securing appropriate child support.

Ms. Kelly is a skilled collaborative divorce lawyer and mediator. For more than a decade, Ms. Kelly has been a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. The group promotes alternative dispute resolution and collaborative law in divorce cases and other areas of family law. She has had extensive training in the collaborative approach, and continues to attend seminars and participate in small group practice of conflict scenarios. She believes that collaborative law is a more effective and sensitive approach to divorce and family disputes. Ms. Kelly is also skilled and experienced in mediation, another method for settling divorce cases without resort to litigation in court.

Ms. Kelly graduated from the College of New Rochelle, with a B.A., Dean’s List, in 1965. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1971. She is a charter member of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, which has advocated for court reform in family law since 1988. She has been a member of the Ninth Judicial District Gender Fairness Committee since 1994.

A leader throughout her career, Ms. Kelly has served as President of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (1987-1988) and President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association (1981-1982). She was appointed Chair of the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District of the State of New York (1998-2000). She served as Co-Chair of the WBASNY Matrimonial Committee (1991-1992) and is a member of the Professional Standards Committee of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals.

Ms. Kelly was a charter member of the New York University School of Law Women’s Rights Committee. The committee reached out to women at other law schools to work together on women’s issues on campus and in the legal profession. She and other students fought for the prestigious Root-Tilden scholarship to be open to women. In 1973, Ms. Kelly and other young lawyers founded the first feminist law firm, Bellamy Blank Goodman Kelly Ross and Stanley, tackling cases that could advance women’s rights through litigation. The firm also handled divorces and matrimonial disputes.

As a law student, Ms. Kelly worked with Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the 1971 Supreme Court case Reed v. Reed. The decision established that sex discrimination cases should be subject to the Court’s “strict scrutiny” test—previously reserved for cases of discrimination based on race. This meant that the law in question would probably be struck down. In Reed, the Supreme Court ruled that an Idaho law that said men were preferred to women as administrators of estates was a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Top Attorneys of North America, a New York based publication, distinguishes and profiles leading attorneys who have reached a recognizable degree of success and leadership in their field. The directory is valued for promoting awareness of the accomplishments within the North American legal community.

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