Saturday morning, while most folks are working out, tidying up the house and yard, or heading for the soccer field to cheer on their kids, Colorado Springs City Attorney Patricia Kelly can be found in her office, catching up. For two decades, she has devoted four to six Saturday hours to researching and writing contracts, legal opinions or court pleadings, paperwork, filing, and the myriad other tasks she just can’t get to during the week.
Kelly might be a little more free on Saturdays next month, because she recently announced that she will retire at the end of September, wrapping up 25 years with the city
The third child of nine, she was raised in Colorado Springs, surrounded by a sprawling extended family.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from UCCS and her law degree from the University of Tulsa.
But not long after her graduation from college, tragedy struck. Her mother died in a freak auto accident while Kelly‘s parents were on a fishing vacation to the Gulf of Mexico with the three youngest siblings and other relatives. “It was a terrible loss,” she says. “She was a brilliant woman.” Her father was badly injured in the wreck but recovered.
Since that time, her devotion to family “has been the major focus of my life,” she says. She and husband J. Patrick “Pat” Kelly, a retired Fourth Judicial District Judge, have been a near-inseparable team since their marriage 36 years ago. Besides raising two children — Erin, now 30, and Sean, 27, they co-authored “The Trial Handbook for Colorado Lawyers” in 1993 with a second edition published years thereafter.
“He worked on it at night, I worked at it on the weekend,” she recalls. “It took us two years to complete. We celebrated by taking the kids to Disneyworld.”
Kelly takes pride in the many legal situations her office has successfully handled over the years: retention of the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters was particularly satisfying. Her office juggles 50 to 60 lawsuits at a time. That’s why, come Saturday morning, you know where you’ll find Patricia K. Kelly — tidying up the details of her career.