Sometimes you just need someone to tell you the truth
Kelly refers to multiple different systems she uses for practicing, and her favorite is her brain.
“When I am working on things in my head or when I think of an idea or having a research challenge, I can integrate and follow those ideas to what they mean,” she says. “It doesn’t matter when it is in the process. I have found that an idea is an idea and that whatever I’m doing with it, I don’t have to have the exact idea, but I need to have the direction and the conversation.”
Kelly’s thinking about the impact of a practice and who can see it and what they can do about it has earned her two certificates from the Certified Practitioner Development Institute (CPDI). One of those certificates, a “Women in Business” certificate, is part of an initiative to encourage more women to seek careers in small businesses.
She sees the degree as a way to provide information about how to effectively run a small business.
“It is exactly what I’d want from a certificate, that’s why I wanted it, because I feel like it is going to give me concrete things that can help me as a manager in any environment,” she says.
Her second CPDI certificate is in the Medical Professionals area. That one is useful to her in educating people who have been through a similar experience as an overweight patient who had gastric bypass surgery to learn how to eat right and manage it.
Kelly knew she had to find a way to not only maintain her weight after gastric bypass surgery, but also to help others reach their weight loss goals so they could have a better life. “I read a lot, I visited a lot of people with weight loss issues, I organized meetings in our community,” she says.
Working with people in the recovery process has deepened Kelly’s passion for the law.
“When you have some knowledge or insights about what goes on in a case, it really opens your eyes to something you might not have normally looked at,” she says.
She learned from a patient and defendant who had worked together in legal matters that the person who needed to focus the whole time at the trial was the person who was probably having the hardest time—the person who started the session trying to give up.
“He had the judge down, he had the jury down, he had the lawyers down. And I think it was pretty devastating, not just to him, but to him, his family, his wife. It’s very hard for a person when they feel completely marginalized, and I think that is what that was about,” she says.
The man who needed to keep everybody around him focused buckled down and focused on doing his job as the central representative of the victim or the defendant.
“That work is the work of defense attorneys,” Kelly says. “It’s when they have to make sure they have the adequate representation for both people. So he was operating really single-mindedly that day, and it was sad for him, it was sad for me, and I was so impressed with the dedication and the rigor that he was putting into being the best he could be. He was a real man of character, and I admire that.”