Mary Beth Kelly

1984 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year


Mary Beth Kelly (’84 B.A.) exudes leadership. She discovered her love for politics early on and spent a summer interning for Rep. Sander Levin. She got her law degree at University of Notre Dame and later became a successful commercial litigation partner at Dickinson Wright in Detroit. After 12 years, Kelly decided to take her career to the next level, and in 1999 was appointed to the Wayne County Circuit Court. In 2002, she was appointed chief judge, making her the first woman to lead that bench. She joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2011 and was the Court’s liaison for treatment courts, drug courts and veterans’ courts. While on the Court Kelly was the Chair of the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Co-Chair of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition. Currently, Kelly uses her talents as a Partner and Vice Chair for Bodman Law Offices in Detroit.