New lawyer Called to the Bar
The cousin of a former Cabinet minister has been Called to the Bar.
Monica Kelly, 27, was welcomed into the legal world on Friday surrounded by family members – including her cousin, Wayne Caines, a former national security minister.
Ms Kelly told the courtroom that she was “humbled and grateful” for the opportunity to join the Bermuda Bar Association.
She added: “This moment signifies a long-awaited chapter in my life.
“As I relish this monumental moment, I recognise that all the stumbling blocks I encountered were worth it, as they have prepared me for the road ahead.”
Ms Kelly, from Hamilton Parish, was Called to the Bar at a ceremony in the Government Administration Building before Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden last Friday.
She thanked those who offered support during her studies, including her husband, James, and her family.
Ms Kelly attended Oakwood University in Alabama where she gained a BA degree in English in 2015.
She later went the University of Kent in Britain and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 2017.
Ms Kelly admitted that the road to her degree included long nights of study and “many, many tears”.
But she added: “These challenging roadblocks were overcome with persistence, hard work, discipline, focus and faith.”
Ms Kelly said that she started a year-long internship with Appleby in October 2017 – several months after she married – where she sharpened her professional skills and won Appleby’s Legal Education Award to complete her studies.
She completed her Legal Practice Course at the University of London in 2018 and also received a Masters in Law.
Ms Kelly also interned as a summer student at Cox Hallett Wilkinson and the Department of Public Prosecutions.
Ms Kelly, who is now a second-year trainee at Appleby, said that she hoped to go into general corporate law.
She added: “I feel blessed to have finally reached a moment in my life that I have dreamt of.
“I feel grateful for the support I’ve had over the years and for the family and friends that were able to make it to my Call this afternoon.
“I am hopeful that I will be able to contribute significantly to the legal profession in Bermuda.”
Mr Caines, the president of Belco parent company Ascendant, said that Ms Kelly was “the perfect embodiment” of grace and hard work.
He added: “She will bring to these courts integrity, honour, a sense of fairness, a sense of justice, understanding the little man on the street and the needs of the corporate, community and the boardroom.”
“I know she will be a credit to this noble profession.”
John Wasty, the global co-head of Appleby’s dispute resolution practice, praised Ms Kelly’s approach to her work.
He said: “Monica is a young woman of conviction, sincerity and no little warmth in spirit.
“In my dealing with her I sense she grasps that being of service is a fundamental aspect of being a lawyer.”
Mr Wasty added: “In my experience young lawyers do not fully appreciate this honourable profession in the sense of both understanding it and fully enjoying it until they comprehend that important fact.
“It is encouraging to me to see that Monica understands that at such an early stage of what I’m certain will be her long, fulfilling and successful career in law.”