American Bar Association Family Law Section Honors Kelly Powers for Pro Bono Service


Date: 08 / 22 / 17

Type: Press Release

Headshot_0020_Powers-Kelly-E-015.jpgMiles & Stockbridge is pleased to announce that Kelly A. Powers, a principal in the firm’s Family Law & Private Clients practice, has been honored by the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section with its Jean Crowe Pro Bono Award.

The co-director of the Pro Bono Advocacy Program at Miles & Stockbridge, Powers was recognized for her pro bono representation of domestic violence victims and families in the United States and overseas in numerous cases involving international parental abductions of children. She has spearheaded the return of dozens of missing children.

Her international pro bono work has included cases where an alleged abuser has diplomatic status in the United States, conferring complete immunity from criminal, civil and even protective order cases, unless the diplomat’s home country waives immunity. Powers is highly regarded for her success in obtaining waivers of diplomatic status, clearing the way for alleged abusers to be subject to protective orders and criminal prosecution.

On the domestic front, Powers represents pro bono clients in high-conflict custody and protective order cases.  She has worked extensively with The Women’s Law Center of Maryland (WLC), which provides free legal representation to protect and empower individual women and advocates on issues related to family law, domestic violence, employment law and human trafficking. The immediate past president of the WLC’s board of directors, Powers has served on the organization’s board since 2009.  

“When you take a look at the things Kelly has accomplished in a relatively short amount of time, you are immediately struck by the difference one person can make in the world,” said John B. Frisch, chairman & CEO of Miles & Stockbridge. “The work Kelly does—both in the day-to-day and in the wider ripples of creating precedent—changes people’s lives, often dramatically, and helps set a course toward justice for those who have almost lost faith in the ideal itself.”

In 2012, Miles & Stockbridge presented Powers with its Pro Bono Advocate Award for devoting more than 1,000 hours of pro bono services to indigent clients.

Powers was nominated for the Jean Crowe Pro Bono Award by Stephen J. Cullen, head of the Family Law practice and a principal at Miles & Stockbridge, who praised her discretion, compassion and professionalism in representing clients in complex personal matters.

“To see Kelly representing the disadvantaged, helpless, and disenfranchised throughout domestic violence courts is to capture the true nature of her extraordinary talents and kindnesses,” said Cullen.

In addition to her pro bono and community service, Powers maintains a full-time divorce, custody and marital torts practice. She works in both the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore offices of Miles & Stockbridge.

The winner of the Jean Crowe Pro Bono Award may direct a $1,500 stipend to the pro bono or public service organization of his/her choice. Powers has selected the Women’s Law Center of Maryland as this year’s recipient.

The award was presented to Powers at a luncheon in New York City on August 12 during the American Bar Association’s annual conference.

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