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Julia Anne Kelly - lawyerJulia Anne Kelly
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Julia Kelly has been practicing as a criminal defense attorney for more than 11 years, after starting her career as a Deputy Public Defender in Orange County, California, where she gained invaluable experience as a trial attorney and successfully handled diverse types of criminal cases, including juvenile petitions and adult felony and misdemeanor cases.

Julia has successfully tried felony gang cases, robberies, residential burglaries, arson, vandalism, assault and battery, possession of child pornography, driving under the influence (DUI/OWI), domestic violence, prostitution, and resisting and obstructing arrest.

Since her return to West Michigan, Julia has continued to dedicate her career to providing high quality, compassionate, and vigorous representation to clients accused of both misdemeanor and felony charges, at both the state and federal level. She has represented clients throughout Michigan, has handled federal cases in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, and has successfully argued in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Julia graduated with distinction with a B.A. from the University of Michigan and earned a J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law, with a concentration in criminal law. She proudly holds memberships with the Michigan State Bar, the State Bar of California, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, the Federal Bar Association of West Michigan, and the Grand Rapids Bar Association. Julia also serves as co-chair of the ACLU Lawyers Committee of West Michigan.  She was recently selected to serve a 2-year term on the Grand Rapids Bar Association Judicial Review Committee.  In this position, Julia will review and rate candidates seeking elective seats on the 17th Judicial Circuit.

A hard-working criminal defense attorney, Julia is known for excellent judgment, zealous commitment, open communication, and a compassionate nature. Her clients find her to be dependable, honest, a good listener, and an effective advocate.

When she’s not working, Julia is likely to be spending time with her large extended family, traveling to new places, camping, or playing soccer.

To connect with Julia, send her an email or call our office directly at 616.458.2212.

Bar Admissions

  • California State Bar, 2007
  • State Bar of Michigan, 2013
  • Federal District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2014
  • Federal District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2015


  • B.A. in Psychology, University Honors, University of Michigan, 2003
  • Michigan State University College of Law, 2006
  • J.D., Cum Laude Criminal Law Concentration, Full Merit Scholar

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Federal Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association

Volunteer Commitments and Awards

  • ACLU Lawyers Committee, Co-Chair
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association, Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, Volunteer
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association President’s Award, 2021
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