Spotlight: Incoming Chair Mitchell Kelling

By Ryan Schultz

On July 1, 2020, Mitchell Kelling will continue her commitment to the North Carolina Bar Association as the incoming chair of the Family Law Section. Mitchell is currently the principal and practice group leader of the Family Law Practice Group (South) of Offit/Kurman. She boasts a remarkably accomplished resume beginning with her involvement in the North Carolina Bar Association’s Family Law Section in 2002. Since then, she has volunteered on several committees and chaired both the social and the CLE committee. She has served on the executive committee for a number of years, and last year, she was Vice Chair.

Mitchell Kelling

Mitchell is a daughter of North Carolina, as she grew up in Concord and currently resides in Charlotte. Mitchell attended Concord High School and then attended Harvard University; later, she received her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. For purposes of this story, Mitchell did not disclose the year that she graduated high school. Like any good future law student, Mitchell majored in government at Harvard. While enjoying Boston and all of the trappings of a big city, Mitchell confesses to not being able to stand cold weather and missing Carolina blue sky.

After graduating from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1998, she began working for Beth Hodges, a family law attorney in Charlotte. After about a year, she began working for Horack Talley. She practiced with Horack Talley through September of 2019 when they merged with Offit Kurman, where Mitchell currently practices.

Mitchell has been a part of some of the best-produced and informative CLEs in the Family Law Section, including cutting-edge topics like transgender legal issues in family law and practical matters, such as Legal Eagles: A Checklist If Your Marriage Isn’t Going to Last. She has been named as one of the Best Lawyers in Family Law in America from 2013 to 2020, one of the 50 most influential women in Charlotte by The Mecklenburg Times, and she is on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Mitchell is adamant that her singing should not merit any professional consideration.

As if these accomplishments were not enough, Mitchell lists her worst job as (in her own words) “a certified ice cream scooper at the Cabarrus Creamery.” While a sixteen-year-old Mitchell Kelling was diligent about her ice cream duties, her inability to master the milkshake machine and growing disinterest in the perks of round-the-clock free ice cream waned, so she began to contemplate a legal career.

When her busy trial calendar and civic duties are abated somewhat, you can find Mitchell on a tennis court. Mitchell is a 3.5 rated player and is working for that elusive 4.0 tennis rating.

Mitchell has been a Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County resident from her birth until now, as only her undergraduate and law school obligations took her out of the area. She currently resides in Charlotte with her partner, Bailie, and their two dogs, a 10-year-old Chocolate Lab named Lola and a 14-year-old pound puppy named Jones.