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David H. Kelsey, Attorney

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Family Law


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David H. Kelsey is the founding shareholder of Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A., New Mexico's first and most experienced family law firm. He has devoted his practice exclusively to family law since 1973. His peers and competitors have called him the dean of family law attorneys in New Mexico.

Born in Norfolk, Neb., into a family of lawyers -- both his father and grandfather practiced law -- Kelsey worked his way through the University of Notre Dame undergraduate and law schools. He came to New Mexico in 1961 and practiced with Albuquerque trial lawyer Joe Smith. Kelsey then entered the Army's Counterintelligence Corps and was stationed in Baltimore for two years. He returned to Albuquerque in 1963 and practiced personal injury law with Smith until 1967, when he joined Bill Atkinson in a practice that became known as Atkinson & Kelsey.

During the early 1970s, Kelsey became aware of a growing need for experienced family law attorneys. At the time, family law was not a recognized or respected area of law. In 1973, Kelsey made a risky decision: the firm would specialize in and practice only family law. As he explains it, "It's a major area of law, and more people are directly affected by it than by all of the other areas of law put together."

In the ensuing 46 years, Kelsey has not only built the state's largest family law firm, but also has achieved other numerous distinctions:

1. The only attorney listed in every edition of Best Lawyers in America
2. The first family law attorney to serve as president of the State Bar of New Mexico, and one of only a few family law attorneys nationwide who have held the presidency of a state bar association.
3. The first family law attorney to lecture nationally and internationally in family law
4. First attorney to be recognized as a family law specialist by the New Mexico Supreme Court.
5. Listed by the National Law Journal as one of the Top Divorce Lawyers in America.
6. The first New Mexico attorney to be invited into the American College of Family Law Trial Attorneys.
7. The first New Mexico family law attorney to be listed in Best Lawyers in America
8. The only attorney listed in every edition of Best Lawyers in America
9. The first family law attorney to serve as president of the State Bar of New Mexico, and one of only a few family law attorneys nationwide who have held the presidency of a state bar association.
10. The first family law attorney to lecture nationally and internationally in family law
11. The first attorney to be recognized as a family law specialist by the New Mexico Supreme Court.
12. Has presented over 80 lectures on family law issues.

Committed to educating the next generation, Kelsey has trained and mentored many of the state's premier family law attorneys. He has taught advanced family law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, and has lectured and written extensively on family law subjects for over 30 years. Among his many publications, he wrote the New Mexico Divorce Manual and co-authored the New Mexico Domestic Relations Manual.

Kelsey serves on various non-profit boards and is chair of the New Mexico Thomas More Society and its annual Red Mass. He is active in the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue and is a member of the Religious Studies Board of the University of New Mexico and Catholic Charities of Central New Mexico. He is also a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

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David H. Kelsey
2155 Louisiana Boulevard N.E.
Suite 2000
Albuquerque, NM 87110
35.109102,-106.577492

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2155 Louisiana Boulevard N.E.
Suite 2000
Albuquerque, NM 87110


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