INTERVIEW: KELLY CRAWFORD, SENIOR ATTORNEY, FEDEX GROUND
Kelly Crawford grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and started undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh. After two years of trying a class from nearly every major — engineering, math, psychology, stats, neurobiology, and even ROTC — Kelly realized her desire to go into criminal law. As a result, Kelly transferred to Indiana University of Pittsburgh for her last two years, received a BA in Criminology, and went to American University (AU) for law school.
Kelly focused heavily on criminal law while at AU, interning at the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and the US Department of Justice and working at the US Sentencing Commission. Kelly also competed in mock trial and participated in the Criminal Law Clinic. Upon graduation, Kelly accepted a job as a Deputy District Attorney at the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office in Harrisburg, PA where she stayed for approximately three years before moving to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh.
After 7 years as a district attorney (DA), Kelly moved into labor and employment law at U.S. Steel and then with a local health system before finally accepting employment at FedEx Ground in 2016. Now, Kelly practices contract and transportation law with a heavy focus on counseling and training.
Describe a day in the life of a Senior Attorney, FedEx Ground.
I am the attorney on-point for both the western region and central region of the country. On any given day, I receive phone calls and emails from field management, safety representatives, and contractor relations specialists seeking advice on matters involving the contracted service providers and I participate in projects aimed at drafting new contractual language.
What initially attracted you to this field? What are some of the rewards of this area of law and the legal profession?
My main focus was always criminal law, but I heard very good feedback about this company and was very intrigued by the position, not necessarily the field of law. I enjoy the counseling nature of this position and I love having a million different things happening at once. In that regard this position is similar to the DAs office. The field of law is complex and new to me and I love the challenge of learning all of the nuances.
How would you compare the reality of your profession to the picture you had of it before entering and while in law school? Are there downsides to your field?
The reality of criminal law was very different from my expectations in one key way – the salary. When you start law school with a goal of reaching your dream job, you don’t think about the reality of paying bills and school loans. The reason that I left the DAs office was financial and it was heartbreaking.
Do you have any advice for an undergraduate interested in pursuing this body of law and the legal profession?
There are so many different avenues in the legal profession. Be sure to learn about as many as possible so that you can find a field that will be both exciting and challenging.
Kelly Crawford is happy to answer questions and can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: 2017, Newsletter, Prelaw, September