| Kelly Kral, an attorney at Dyer& Ferris, LLC, is the recipient of the 2015 Robert M. Mills Member of the Year Award.
Kral has been a member of the MCBA for 16 years. She joined in 1999, shortly after becoming a licensed attorney in Arizona. She has been on the Executive Board of the Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section since 2010.
In 2011, she received a grant from the Maricopa County Bar Foundation to create the Probate Lawyers Assistance Project (PLAP), which is a pro bono service that provides free consultations to eligible low-income individuals in need of assistance with probate court matters. PLAP is co-sponsored by the Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section and by the Volunteer Lawyers Program.
“As the director of PLAP, it’s rewarding to run a program that provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who cannot otherwise afford the help of an attorney,” says Kral. “Since its inception in December 2011, the program has assisted over 800 people.”
PLAP attorneys participate in periodic three-hour legal clinics that take place at the MCBA office. Consultations are free of charge, but do not include document preparation or representation. The goal of the program is to provide unrepresented litigants in probate court with legal advice, court-form related instruction, and knowledge of what to expect and how to prepare for trial.
“PLAP is operated 100-percent by volunteers and it is amazing the number of hours that people have donated to the program,” says Kral. “Not only the attorneys and law students, but also the staff at the MCBA, where the consultations are held.”
Her hard work has not gone unnoticed. The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education named her among the Top 50 pro bono attorneys in Arizona.
She says being named the Robert M. Mills Member of the Year Award is a “tremendous honor” and she was “excited to receive the good news.”
Kral has also been on the Program Committee of Homeward Bound for several years. The organization provides housing and assists homeless women and children.
Kral graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a B.S. in sociology with an emphasis in business administration. She received her J.D. from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
She practices in the areas of family law, wills, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, elder law, mental health law, and other areas of law pertinent to such cases and special matters.