Partner Kelley Barnett Instrumental in Bringing Leadership, Business Development and Mentoring Program for Female Lawyers to Cleveland Thumbnail

Partner Kelley Barnett Instrumental in Bringing Leadership, Business Development and Mentoring Program for Female Lawyers to Cleveland

Kelley J. Barnett, Partner in Frantz Ward’s Litigation Practice Group, was instrumental in bringing the Federation of Defense of Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Ladder Down program to Cleveland. The program begins on Thursday, January 24, 2019 with a welcome reception at Frantz Ward LLP, a proud Diamond sponsor.

FDCC Ladder Down is a year-long program dedicated to empowering female attorneys by providing coaching in the critical areas of leadership, business development, and mentoring. Ladder Down was founded in 2012 by Phoenix attorneys Alison Christian and Beth Fitch and has run programs in Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco and other cities. Kelley discovered Ladder Down while attending an event sponsored by the FDCC’s Professional Women’s Forum in 2018.

“It doesn’t surprise me that this program created a spark with Kelley,” said Christopher G. Keim, Frantz Ward’s Managing Partner. “Kelley is dedicated and incredibly passionate about providing women with the education and tools to advocate for themselves whether in a professional or personal setting. She focused her passion on bringing this program to Cleveland and literally made it happen by reaching out to colleagues and industry leaders and devoting countless hours of her personal time to leading the coordination of every detail.”

Kelley is a litigator whose practice is focused on representing clients in the manufacturing industry on a variety of issues including OSHA, product liability and toxic tort matters which often involve catastrophic incidents, fatalities, explosions and fires. She also conducts internal corporate investigations into allegations of employee misconduct, fraud, compliance issues, and criminal misconduct. She is OSHA certified and counsels clients on a wide range of OSHA issues across the country including training, compliance, and safety and accident investigations. As a former sex crimes prosecutor, Kelley also represents schools and universities in Title IX matters, is an active advocate for female trafficking victims, and serves on the Board of Directors for the nationally recognized Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. She also serves as the firm’s Ombudsman for associate-level attorneys and plans a year-long professional development training program. Kelley earned her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she has served as an adjunct professor since 2015 and her B.A. in Business Economics, with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from Michigan State University.

FDCC Ladder Down features nearly thirty hours of leadership and business development coaching led by nationally-recognized career coaches Marianne Trost and Lynn Moran, as well as guest panelist workshops led by Mary Garceau of The Sherwin-Williams Company, Gina Beredo of Nordson Corporation, Rosalina Fini of the Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio Supreme Court Justice-Elect Melody Stewart, Marleina Davis from The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, U.S. Northern District Ohio Chief Judge Patricia Gaughan, Yvette McGee Brown from Jones Day and other local leaders.

The program is completely funded by sponsorships and is proud to have gained support from the following organizations within the Cleveland legal community – Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; BakerHostetler; Frantz Ward; Jones Day; Ogletree Deakins; Roetzel & Andress; Taft; Walter Haverfield; Weston Hurd; Epiq and Major Legal Services.

For more information on the program please contact Kelley Barnett at