Asked to name her top professional accomplishment, Ty Kelly has to consider.
“This is a hard question to answer because at each stage of my career I have reached goals that I never thought were possible,” said the experienced trial lawyer at Baker Donelson and 2002 graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
But if she had to choose, Kelly went on, she would name her 2013 decision to leave the U.S. Attorney’s Office to start her own small law firm.
“At the time I was separated with two small kids,” she explained. “I had never run a business before and never represented a client, so needless to say I had a lot to learn.
“They were the five most challenging years of my career, but I developed so much as a lawyer and professional.”
During those five years, she developed so much that she was recruited by a large law firm, where she has cemented her reputation as an effective trial lawyer.
In 2019, Kelly was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers – one of the youngest ever admitted. She also has been honored as a Maryland Super Lawyer for White Collar Criminal Defense – the only woman to make the list in the male- dominated legal specialty.
“What sets Ty apart from other highly skilled trial lawyers is her commitment to give back to the profession and, in particular, to bring women along,” said Christy Tosh Crider, a member of Baker Donelson’s board of directors.
Kelly is head of the law firm’s Women’s Initiative Mentoring Committee, Crider said, and has completely overhauled the mentoring program.
“I love to encourage young women that they can be trial lawyers and that balancing kids and work is challenging but doable,” Kelly said of the mentoring she does at her University of Maryland alma mater. “I just made equity partner this year, and it is important for young women to see that it can be done.”
“I love to encourage young women that they can be trial lawyers and that balancing kids and work is challenging but doable. I just made equity partner this year, and it is important for young women to see that it can be done.”