Kelli Martin

Founder and Managing Partner

KLM Solicitors

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Her story

Kelli is the founder and Managing Partner at KLM Solicitors, specialising in family and criminal law.In 2021, Kelli was a finalist in the Leneen Forde AC Woman of the Year Award at the 2021 Women Lawyers Association of Queensland (WLAQ) Awards.

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I am a respected legal professional, business leader, mentor and social justice advocate. I am particularly passionate about providing women with opportunities to learn and grow as legal professionals, and take enormous pride in mentoring and creating new pathways for young women in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Alongside this, I am a passionate advocate and tireless worker in support of access to justice and the empowerment of women to end domestic and family violence. Through my professional work and community roles, particularly my extensive involvement with the Red Rose Foundation and Women’s Legal Service Queensland, I have had the privilege to be a voice for women, often during their darkest hours. I have seen first-hand how supported access to justice has made a positive impact on their lives.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Opportunity, empowerment and inclusion

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

In order for there to be truly diverse thinking within the legal industry there must first be diversity of voices. I believe everyone has the right to be heard and there should be representation of these voices at all levels within the profession. I employ both men and women of all ages, university students, graduates and mothers. Workplace flexibility and genuinely caring for my employees mental health is so important to me because at the end of the day everyone’s lives are different. When I opened KLM Solicitors, my first daughter was only 11 months old and I committed to taking this leap into entrepreneurship while also managing a young family. With my second daughter born in March 2016, just a year into my business journey, I experienced first-hand the pressures women in the workplace are faced with. It is these pressures that often see women forced out of professions such as law. However, I knew from my experience how important it was to be understanding of the pressures on other women and ensure my firm had flexible arrangements that meant women could work hard, advance their career and also have a family.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

From a young age I had a deep desire to improve access to justice for everyone in the community, particularly for vulnerable women and bring about an end to domestic and family violence. The increasingly appalling domestic violence statistics are what continue to drive me to push for change and address the factors surrounding domestic and family violence. I strongly believe my purpose is to educate the next generation to be strong advocates for social justice and victims of domestic violence. This is exactly why I embarked upon my journey in the legal industry – I have never looked back and have always stayed true to my values, beliefs and overall business vision.

Laryssa Perkins

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Sarah Ford

Vice President

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Kristen Podagiel

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Kristan Conlon

Chair of Partners

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Kim Trajer

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Kiarah Kelly

Collaborative Family Lawyer

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