Thomas K. Kelly -Certified Specialist, Criminal Law
Admitted: 1988, Arizona, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona and U.S. Court of Federal Claims
Law School: University of Arizona, J.D., 1987
College: Northern Arizona University, B.S., 1974
Member: State Bar of Arizona; Yavapai County Bar Association; Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
Biography: Editor-in-Chief, Arizona Law Review, 1986-1987. Author: “Arizona’s Long-Arm Is Extended,” 28 Ariz. L. Rev. 523; Lead Trial Counsel in Capital Litigation, Rule 6.8, A.R.Cr.P., 1996- present; Adjunct Professor, Criminal Law and Paralegal Studies, Yavapai Community College, 1998-present.;Clerk and President, Governing Board of Education, Prescott Unified School District #1, 1991-1996; Member: Yavapai County Criminal Justice Work Group and Felony Task Force, 1995-2000; Yavapai County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse, 2001-present; Certified Specialist, Criminal Law, Arizona Board of Legal Specialization, 1998-present.
Background: Tom Kelly was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona. After graduating from NAU with a degree in zoology and chemistry, Tom worked in a variety of fields. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a union ironworker helping construct high-rise buildings and bridge decks; as a high school teacher and coach helping educate young people in science and athletics; and also working as a U.S. Forest Service Hotshot , Tom spent years helping suppress wild-land fires throughout the western U.S. This varied work experience has proven to be a valuable asset to his practice of criminal law.
This wide range of life experience helps Tom to better understand the complexities of problems facing his clients as well as understanding human behavior as it relates to criminal law. The diversity of his experience has helped Mr. Kelly understand the importance of witness integrity, attorney credibility and juror comprehension during trials. The end result has been a significant level of professional success as a trial attorney.
Realizing the importance of contributing time and energy to his home town, Tom has participated in numerous volunteer activities. Currently as a member of the “Sheriff’s Posse,” Tom spends considerable time with the Posse raising money for college scholarships for local high-school students. Past volunteer activities range from spending six years as an elected board member and president of Prescott Unified School District, coaching a variety of youth athletics, and volunteering legal services to local veterans and high school students. Tom also serves as adjunct professor teaching law classes at Yavapai Community College.
Tom is married to Tamra Kelly. As the parents of six children, their greatest love is their family. The Kelly family enjoys to traveling and outdoor activities ranging from river running to skiing. In addition, the Kelly’s maintain a sizeable herd of cattle on public desert wilderness lands. When not practicing law, Tom is working cattle with his family, participating in a wide-range of outdoor activities, or traveling.