Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Expert in Political Affairs Joins Southwestern Board February 08, 2006
Expert in Political Affairs Joins Southwestern Board

Peter D. Kelly, III '76, a partner in the firm of Kelly Lytton & Vann LLP, has been elected to Southwestern's Board of Trustees. A prominent Los Angeles attorney who has long been active in local, state and national politics, Kelly brings a background of problem-solving and relationship-building to the board.

"Peter Kelly is a great addition to the board," said Dean Bryant Garth. "He has the energy, record of accomplishment and interest in Southwestern to help push us to be the school we aspire to be."

Kelly said he is eager to contribute his enthusiasm and efforts to help Southwestern grow. "I have a huge affection for the school," he remarked. "If it weren't for Southwestern, I wouldn't have had the fortunate career I've been able to have. I really feel it's time to give something back – I owe an enormous debt to the place."

Kelly enrolled in Southwestern as an evening student in 1972, while he was serving as Finance Director of the California Democratic Party (CDP). Shortly thereafter, he was named Chief of Staff of the CDP. After receiving his J.D., Kelly joined the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg & Tunney. Over the next 17 years, he developed a practice that focused on assisting individuals and corporations in dealings with the government.

In 1985, he started his own firm, Kelly Lytton & Vann LLP, which he continues to manage to this day. The firm specializes in representing clients dealing with local, state and federal governments, with a particular emphasis in land use entitlements and government contracts. The firm is registered as a lobbyist before a wide variety of governmental entities. Its past clients include Continental Airlines, Estee Lauder-Aveda Lifestyles, Goldman Sachs, Motown Records and Trammell Crow.

While practicing as an attorney, Kelly continued to play a major role in the political sphere. He served as Finance Chair of the Carter/Mondale California Presidential Campaign from 1979-80, and held the same post during Tom Bradley's run for Mayor of Los Angeles from 1980-81. Throughout the rest of the ‘80s, Kelly served in various positions, including both as State Chair and Southern California Chair of the CDP, and as a member of the Democratic National Committee. He was also a member of the '92 and '98 Boxer for Senate Finance Committees, and a member of the National Finance Board of Directors for Clinton/Gore '96. In 2001, Kelly was Chair of Friends of Jim Hahn, an independent expenditure committee. He has been widely published, and frequently serves as a television and radio commentator on political affairs.

Kelly has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Los Angeles County Probation Commission, State Street Bank of California, Los Angeles City Attorney's Airport Committee, and the Central City Association. He is currently a member of the First African Methodist Episcopal Foundation Board, the Saint John's Health Center Foundation Board and the Los Angeles County Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, where he chairs the Legislative Committee and is the Chair-Elect for the organizations' Los Angeles County Chapter.

A native of Pasadena, Kelly received his B.A. from California State University at Fullerton. In 2001, the school named him Alumnus of the Year. He is a member of the California and District of Columbia bars.