The Hon. Angel Kelley is an associate justice for the Plymouth County Superior Court in Massachusetts. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Deval Patrick in January 2013, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Barbara Dortch-Okara.
Kelley began her judicial career as an associate justice for the Brockton District Court in 2009. Most recently, she was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts by President Joe Biden on May 12, 2021.
Prior to her appointment, Kelley spent four years as a staff attorney in the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn (1993 to 1997) and eight years as Assistant Chief Counsel for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (1997 to 2005).
In 2005, Kelley relocated to Massachusetts and became a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School. She worked in that capacity for two years, eventually leaving to join the Major Crimes United of the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
Kelley earned a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 1989. She then completed a J.D. at the Georgetown University Law Center (1992) and an LL.M. in trial advocacy at Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law (2003).
She was born in New Rochelle, New York. Her father was raised in Selma, Alabama, where he picked cotton until moving to New York City as a truck driver. Her mother, who was Japanese, came to the United States after marrying a soldier from the United States Army after World War II. She eventually moved to New York City, working in supermarkets as a meat packer.