WLALA Immediate Past President
Mary McKelvey is a fierce and highly respected trial attorney who is influential in every aspect of her career, i.e. in litigating difficult cases for national and global clients, in handling high stakes pro bono cases, in successfully assuming leadership positions at the state and local bar levels, in supporting the next generation of women lawyers and mentoring at-risk non-lawyer women, and proactively volunteering in and influencing key issues in the community. In addition to her extensive trial experience where she has tried numerous complex cases to verdict in various jurisdictions, Mary has a wide range of experience in all stages of litigation including complicated trial preparation for countless complex matters, taking and defending percipient and expert witness depositions, developing innovative case handling strategy during trial and pre-trial discovery, drafting complex pleadings and arguing dispositive motions in both state and federal court. Mary masterfully presents complex facts, concepts, medical vocabulary, historical data, scientific data, and other complicated issues in ways that jurors and judges can understand and use to arrive at decisions favorable to her clients.
Mary has served on the Executive Committee of Women Lawyers since 2017 and on their Board of Governors since 2012. She also currently serves as the Chair of the California Lawyers Association Litigation Section and previously served as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State Bar of California Litigation Section.
Mary has a deep passion for pro bono work and serves as the Co-Chair for Polsinelli’s Litigation Group Pro Bono Practice. In her own words, “Doing pro bono work has allowed me glimpses into realities I would not otherwise have encountered. It has allowed me a multi-dimensional perspective on important issues such as immigration policies and the effectiveness of our criminal justice system. It has allowed me to assist others that I would never even have had the privilege of encountering but for my handling of their matter on a pro bono basis.