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Kristi D. Kelly Honored by the Connecticut Bar Association with the Honorable Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Award

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On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, Attorney Kristi D. Kelly was honored by the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) as a recipient of the Honorable Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Award during a virtual ceremony, “Celebrate with the Stars.” She was nominated for this prestigious recognition by the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC), whose mission is to provide legal advocacy for veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness to overcome barriers to housing, healthcare and income.

Adam J. Cohen, Pro Bono Awards Committee Chair for the CBA, presented the award, and Kristi’s daughter, Olivia, and law partner, Michael B. Blanchard, delivered video messages congratulating her on this honor.

Below is a letter from Ashleigh M. Backman, Pro Bono Program Manager and Intake Attorney at the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center:

Dear Kristi,

Just wanted to send a note of gratitude for your many years of pro bono partnership at CVLC.

Last week, Cindy, Liam (our Executive Director) and I were discussing how deeply embedded pro bono legal partnerships are to our CVLC mission – besides providing superior legal help, these partnerships allow our veterans to reconnect and rebuild trust with people in their local communities. You immediately came to mind because you’ve been such a huge “legal giant” on behalf of our veterans living in the New London area!

Cindy and I were recounting to Liam about your willingness to continually go above and beyond for any of our veterans (and even their families!) — the family case you took on, the many difficult housing cases that end up morphing into a thousand other legal matters that you’ve extended your service to — the list goes on …

Thank you. Every time we refer a case to you we know our veteran is receiving the best care and legal advice. You allow us to do our jobs better and you give disabled veterans the opportunity to stabilize their mental health and rebuild their lives — in part, by receiving help from leaders in their local community.

We’re very disappointed COVID has prevented the private bar from giving you the “in-person” accolades you deserve, but Darren and I are excited to cheer you on tonight at the awards ceremony!

With deep gratitude,


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