Kelly is the First Assistant Federal Defender. She serves on the Federal Grievance Committee and participates in the District's Support Court program. Kelly co-teaches the Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic at Yale Law School with Professor Miriam Gohara. Prior to joining the Federal Defender Office, Kelly worked at Arnold & Porter LLP in New York where she practiced in the White Collar Criminal Defense, Complex Civil Litigation, and Securities Litigation groups.
Kelly clerked for the Honorable Stefan R. Underhill, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Connecticut and for the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Third Circuit. Kelly graduated from the American University Washington College of Law, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, and was awarded the Gillette prize and the Outstanding Graduate Award. At AUWCL Kelly was a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar, receiving a three-year, full tuition scholarship for students focusing on public interest law. As a law student, Kelly volunteered with the Criminal Defense Clinic, the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, the D.C. Public Defender Service, the New York Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Division, and the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. Kelly received the PSLawNet Pro Bono Publico Award, a national public interest and academic merit award. She was a Note & Comment Editor on the American University Law Review and an Articles Editor on the Human Rights Brief. Kelly graduated from Yale University with a BA in history and received a Richard U. Light fellowship to study abroad in Japan. At Yale, Kelly rowed on the Yale Women's Crew Team and was chosen by the team to receive the Nathaniel Case Award three years in a row.