Kellee Parker Harris:

The NCDD Member in the Spotlight is Kellee Parker Harris of Huntington Beach, California. Kellee currently serves the College as the California State Delegate and the Chair of the Diversity Task Force.

Throughout her life, Kellee has experienced broad exposure to the justice system, thanks to her passion for civil liberties and civil rights. Kellee began her journey in the legislative arena, serving first in Washington D.C. as an intern for Congress member Thomas Lantos via the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. Before attending law school at Chapman University School of Law, she also worked for a year as the Constituent Services Specialist for California State Assembly member Jenny Oropeza.

It was during an externship in law school with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office that Kellee developed her passion for criminal defense work. She realized that it perfectly combined her “love for defending civil liberties with her desire to assist those in need.” After only three years of practice, Kellee opened the Parker Law Center, where her practice focuses on criminal and DUI defense. She credits her father as a driving force behind this decision. “He repeatedly encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace new challenges. My dad was a strong advocate for me to start my own law firm as he believed in my ability to meaningfully impact the legal field. … His influence has been profound in shaping my values, work ethic and outlook on life.”

Kellee sees her role as a criminal defense attorney as being a defender of the Constitution. “Criminal defense attorneys are needed to ensure that all people obtain a rigorous defense and to hold the criminal justice system accountable.” The most rewarding aspect of this job for her “is helping clients navigate the legal system and at the same time being an advocate for civil liberties and civil rights.” She points out that many clients are new to the criminal justice system and are “overwhelmed, anxious and scared.” Kellee takes pride in helping to “alleviate that anxiety by breaking down the process into a more manageable way.”

Kellee’s approach to law “centers on advocating for fairness, justice, and the protection of individual rights. I strive to offer a unique client experience by building strong relationships with clients to understand their individual circumstances and objectives. I take an individual approach to every case by prioritizing thorough investigation and analysis to ensure a comprehensive understanding of each case.” In one of her most proud moments as a DUI defense attorney, Kellee employed this approach to secure the reinstatement of her client’s driving privileges following an appeal (on two separate occasions!) after her client “fell victim to being denied equal protection under the California State Constitution and United States Constitution.” Thanks to Kellee’s untiring advocacy, her client was able to fully reinstate her driving privileges and obtain a duplicate license at no charge.

Kellee currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at her undergraduate alma mater, California State University, Long Beach. In addition to NCDD, Kellee is also a member of NACDL and the Orange Beach Bar Association, and been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star.

When not in the office, the courtroom, or the classroom, Kellee can often be found enthusiastically cheering on her children from the sidelines during baseball games and cheerleading competitions. She and her husband, Jeremy, are the proud parents of Brynn (11) and Austin (9). Kellee’s leadership is not exclusive to the legal community, as she also serves as the President of the local little league and as the Advocacy Chair of the PTA board. She also recognizes the importance of personal and professional life balance and enjoys a good book, brunching with friends and family, or cozying up at home to watch a good movie.

When asked about the NCDD, Kellee credits the organization with enhancing her ability to represent her clients and remarks that “NCDD serves as the cornerstone for professional development.” Sheryl Sandberg has said, “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." Kellee’s leadership, both within and outside of the legal community, has already made a lasting impact. Thank you, Kellee, for making our organization better as a result of your presence, commitment, dedication, and hard work.


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