Kelli Lueckert is a senior partner at AndersonGlenn who specializes in insurance defense and warranty litigation. She was recently appointed chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association Law Week Committee.
Who or what made you decide to become a lawyer?
Originally, I wanted to be an actress but I quickly understood that it was not my vocation. Then I wanted to join the behavioral analysis unit of the FBI, which led me to psychology. My professors at UF encouraged me to consider a career in law. It’s a privilege to be a lawyer, especially in this community where I work with such talented people.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law?
I majored in psychology with an emphasis on behavior analysis. The ability to connect, understand and empathize with people helps me in everything I do, whether it is giving a statement, speaking with a witness, negotiating a claim or work with opposing counsel. Making people feel loved, respected, understood and seen goes a long way. As US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “reacting with anger or annoyance will not improve the ability to persuade.”
How did you choose your area of ââpractice? And why did you choose this?
When I started out, I wouldn’t have imagined myself as a litigator. My interest in the criminal justice system led me to start my career as an assistant to the public defender, which led me to civil litigation. I often work with clients who are going through the most difficult times of their lives. I have the opportunity to help clients get through these times by providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions and recommending the best course of action.
What do you think will be the next most important change in your area of ââlaw?
Provide more affordable legal services to middle-income citizens. Over 50 percent of Florida lawyers practice in small firms or are solo practitioners. I am currently the Chairman of the Florida Bar’s Prepaid Legal Services Committee. Although Prepaid Legal Services was established over 45 years ago, many lawyers are unsure of what it is and how it can work in their practice. This is an agreement whereby a sponsor contracts directly with an agent for the provision of legal services to its members. You can contact groups such as churches, educational institutions, credit unions, employment units, and associations about the services a lead lawyer can provide.
What community service did you pursue and why?
My family and I are puppy breeders for K9s for Warriors. We currently have a golden retriever, which my son named âAlliâ after âalligatorâ because he knows I love the Gators. She will eventually become a service dog for a veteran. I am also a member of the Florida Bar, the Jacksonville Bar Association, and the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association. This year, I’m chairing the JBA Law Week committee. The committee is involved in several Law Week events which run from March to May. Through JWLA, I participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, establishing the Duval County Courthouse Nursing Room, accompanying, promoting and supporting local leaders.
What is your advice for new lawyers?
To be involved. I didn’t recognize right away how essential this is. I have met the most amazing and hardworking people who are not just my mentors, but my friends. Being a working parent is often not easy. Getting involved has allowed me to meet other people who have been through the same things and who are able to give me encouragement and advice.