Get to Know… Kelly Durden

“I became a lawyer to empower community members to engage in the legal system. I hope my work at the Advocacy Center will position me to make the law more accessible for all, thus empowering people to use the law to achieve their goals.


  • Kelly co-leads the Community Empowerment Project, which is part of the Consumer Protection Program.
  • Immediately before joining the Advocacy Center, Kelly owned and operated a consulting firm, Inspired Inclusivity Consulting, where she drew from legal and human resources experience to help businesses become more inclusive in their policies and practices.
  • In the past, Kelly served in the inaugural class of Justice Americorp Fellows at Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (currently the Advocacy Center) and spent five years at Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) focusing on Domestic Violence, working both in the Charlotte office and the Ahoskie office.
  • Drawing from her work at the Advocacy Center and LANC, Kelly worked with the Freedom Center for Social Justice to open the region’s first LGBTQ Law Center, which served a variety of the needs of local LGBTQ+ individuals, regardless of income.


  • UNC-Wilmington, Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish
  • UNC School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of South Florida, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certification

Professional Affiliations:

  • NC State Bar

Community Affiliations:

  • Campaign for Southern Equality, Board of Directors, Human Resources Committee
  • Carolinas LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Board Member