The Leadership Committee of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers featured Cobb County attorney and candidate for Cobb County Probate Judge, Kelli L. Wolk, in its Leadership Spotlight:
This month’s leadership spotlight is on Kelli L. Wolk. Kelli is a 2008 graduate of the inaugural GAWL Leadership Academy, and also Leadership Cobb. She is currently running for the Cobb County Probate Court judgeship that opened up when her mentor and long-time probate court judge, the Hon. David Dodd, decided to retire. Kelli clerked for Judge Dodd for two years after graduating from the Georgia State University College of Law. In 2001, Kelli joined the Cobb County office of Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele, where her law practice has continued to focus on probate litigation, guardianship issues, estate planning, and general civil litigation. For the past three years, Kelli was named a Rising Star by Atlanta Magazine’s Super Lawyers, and in 2007, she was featured by Cobb Life Magazine as one of Cobb County’s Top 20 under 40.
In addition to her law practice, Kelli is a frequent speaker on the subjects of probate, guardianships, estate planning, advanced directives, and administration of estates at continuing education seminars for lawyers and other groups, including social workers, medical professionals, mothers’ groups, and senior citizens. Kelli worked on the revision of Georgia’s Guardianship Code and has also testified before the Special Judiciary Subcommittee of the Georgia House of Representatives.
“Running for Cobb County probate judge has been an amazing process,” Kelli says. “It has enabled me to put into practice many of the leadership, communication and networking skills we studied at the GAWL Leadership Academy.” Campaigning has given her the opportunity to meet a huge number of talented people and to do things she never would have experienced had she not thrown her hat into the ring. From attending forums and fairs and lugging 200 pound signs around the county, to taping television commercials, “Nothing brings home more just how large Cobb County really is than trying to meet all of its citizens,” says Kelli. Through her experience first as law clerk, then as a fulltime litigator before the Probate Court, Kelli has become passionate about the court and the services it provides to people in need and in crisis. Kelli’s enthusiasm for running for probate judge has kept her energized and on her toes.
Although integrating her law practice with campaigning has been a challenge at times, Kelli says she has been able to maintain a full client load by focusing on her clients’ needs during the workday, and returning campaign-related calls and emails from early evening till bedtime, and then again at the crack of dawn. Which can make for a very long day. Kelli firmly believes, however, that because of her background and temperament, she will make an excellent probate judge. “There will be plenty of time to catch up on sleep after the election on November 4,” says Kelli.
One of Kelli’s strengths is her ability to communicate complex legal issues in a way that makes them understandable. Her communication skills go way back. Kelli did her undergraduate work at Missouri State University, where she earned a B.A. in Communications. Between college and law school, she worked in television production for nearly ten years.
If elected, Kelli will bring a wealth of leadership and community experience to the bench. Kelli volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Cobb County. She is a former member of the Cobb County Bar Association’s Board of Trustees, a past member of the Cobb Justice Foundation Advisory Board, past chair of the State Bar Young Lawyers Division Elder Law Committee, and is past president of the Elder Law Section of the Cobb County Bar. Kelli is active in Rotary, and headed the Marietta Rotary Boys and Girls Club Literacy Program, “Bookville.” She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for MUST Ministries, which provides education, counseling, shelter, and other services to assist those in need to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. You can find more information about Kelli at www.kelliwolkforprobatejudge.com .