Toyja Kelley Sr.
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
A partner in the Baltimore law fi rm of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Toyja Kelley Sr. graduated from William and Mary Law School in 2001 and focuses his practice on general business, professional and product liability, business torts and insurance.
In 2018, he began a one-year term as president of the Defense Research Institute, the country’s leading organization of civil defense attorneys and in-house counsel. He was the youngest president in the organization’s history and only the second person of color, and Kelley cites that achievement as “without question” his most significant professional accomplishment.
Asked what award he is most proud of, meanwhile, Kelley cited his Maryland law license.
“I grew up in Texas and did not go to school in this state,” he explained. “But I will never forget the sense of accomplishment and pride in taking the oath in the Court of Appeals courtroom in Annapolis. The … honor and privilege that came from the responsibility to the practice law is without a doubt the honor that I am most proud of.”
Kelley is on the executive board of the National Black Lawyers Association and, since 2019, the board of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Metropolitan Baltimore.
“Toyja is a valuable member of NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore’s Board and through this role, is having an impact on our community as a whole,” said Kerry Graves, the organization’s executive director. Kelley, she said, has provided “leadership and governance to the organization during a time of increased demand for services.”
Colleagues also praised Kelley’s work.
“Toyja’s work in the Baltimore/Maryland area cannot be overstated,” said Craig A. Thompson, a partner at Venable LLP who met Kelley through the DRI. “His firm leadership and community involvement is longstanding, and clearly important for clients and others who rely on his valuable talent and connections.”
“I grew up in Texas and did not go to school in this state. But I will never forget the sense of accomplishment and pride in taking the oath in the Court of Appeals courtroom in Annapolis. The … honor and privilege that came from the responsibility to the practice law is without a doubt the honor that I am most proud of.”