U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Chief Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the oldest of six children in a household influenced by strong Irish-Catholic roots. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Duquesne University School of Law.
Following law school, Magistrate Judge Kelly worked as an associate and then partner at Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, where she specialized in commercial and employment litigation. In 1999, she joined Babst, Calland, Clements & Zomnir as a shareholder, chairing the Employment and Labor Services Group. Her practice primarily concentrated on the litigation of issues related to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the American Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as restrictive covenants, employment contracts and FLSA collective actions.
As a trial lawyer, Magistrate Judge Kelly received the national honors of induction into the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2007 and the Litigation Council of America in 2008. She was elected to the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County in 1996 and is a Fellow in the Academy of Trial Advocacy. She was listed in the Labor and Employment Section of The Best Lawyers in America® from 2008 to 2011. She was recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer from 2005 to 2011 and was listed as one of Pittsburgh’s Top 50 Lawyers and one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Women Lawyers. She has served in leadership roles as a member of the Pennsylvania State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Board of Governors of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County.
Judge Kelly has served the courts in a variety of roles. She was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve as Chair of the Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Board and served as Chair for five years. She has also served as an appointed member of the Lawyers Advisory Committee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as well as Chair of the Merit Selection Panel for the Selection and Appointment of Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Judge Kelly currently serves as co-chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association (“ACBA”) Gender Equality Committee. She has served as chair of the ACBA’s Civil Litigation Section Council as well as an elected member of the Judiciary Committee. On a statewide level, Judge Kelly served as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Task Force on Student Loan Forgiveness and as an appointed member on the Task Force on the Delivery of Legal Services to the Poor. She recently completed a three year term on the nine-member American Bar Association Commission on the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts.
Judge Kelly has always been dedicated to the delivery of civil legal aid to those in need. She served as President of Neighborhood Legal Services Association and chaired the annual Equal Justice Under Law Campaign for many years. She was a member of the board of directors of Pennsylvania Legal Services from 1996 to 2003.
In addition, Judge Kelly has been active in civic and charitable organizations. She recently completed a term on the board of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. She served on the Advisory Board of the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame. She has also served on the boards of other non-profit programs in Western Pennsylvania.
Judge Kelly has been the recipient of awards recognizing her professional accomplishments. In September 2016, she was honored with induction as a member of the Duquesne University Century Club in recognition of her exemplary record of professional achievement and service to the community. In February 2008, The Penn State Dickinson School of Law awarded her the Sylvia H. Rambo Award in recognition of her distinguished legal career and her efforts on behalf of women in the profession. In March 2007, the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network presented Judge Kelly with the Outstanding Leadership in Support of Legal Services award. This award recognizes commitment to the delivery of legal services to the poor in Pennsylvania. She was presented with the Susan B. Anthony Award in February 2007 by the Women’s Bar Association. This award honors an outstanding member of the legal community who demonstrates dedication to encouraging and promoting women in the law and maintaining the highest professional standards in the courts and legal profession. In June 2006, Judge Kelly was presented with the Dorothy Ann Richardson Award by the Neighborhood Legal Services Association, in recognition of service and advocacy for equal justice for all. Judge Kelly also was named Woman of the Year in May 2004 by the Women’s Law Association of Duquesne University School of Law. She was presented with the 1999 Duquesne University School of Law Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award for her achievements in the legal profession and service to the community.
Since her appointment to the Court in 2011, Judge Kelly has served as one of the judges overseeing the Re-integration into Society Effort (“RISE”) Court. She was also appointed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to serve as co-chair of the newly established Re-entry Committee of the Circuit.