Kelly is a respected and seasoned attorney with 20 years of courtroom experience. Kelly has a proven track record of protecting our children and families while passionately working to keep our community safe. Kelly has worked for the State of Georgia as both an Assistant District Attorney and an associate Special Assistant Attorney General. Kelly also operated her own law practice in Snellville for over a decade. Currently, Kelly works for Gwinnett County as an attorney and Guardian Ad Litem for Juvenile Court. As such, Kelly serves by appointment of the Superior Court and Juvenile Court judges to determine the ultimate issues of fact in divorce and custody cases. Kelly has also been entrusted to represent the abused and neglected children of Gwinnett County. She is a voice for our voiceless children.
In addition to practicing law Kelly has worked as an adjunct professor at Georgia Gwinnett College and Shorter University teaching graduate courses in judicial processes, political science, legal studies and ethics and leadership.
Kelly was born and raised in Gwinnett County and is a graduate of Brookwood High School. Kelly's mother, Carol Kautz, a retired school teacher and cheerleading coach from Lilburn Middle and SJN, and her father, Tom Kautz, who managed a local hardware store and coached basketball for Lilburn Middle and Berkmar HS, instilled in Kelly the importance of a strong work ethic, dedication to community, integrity, and treating people with fairness and compassion.
Thanks to the influence of her parents, Kelly knew at a young age that she wanted to become an attorney and an advocate within her community. As a young adult, Kelly worked with the late Governor Zell Miller on keeping our youth safe from drugs and motor vehicle accidents and was recognized as an Outstanding Georgia Citizen for her efforts.
After high school, Kelly became a Double Dawg at the University of Georgia. Kelly graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice and her Juris Doctorate Degree for law. Kelly was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi and recognized in both Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities and Who’s Who Among Law Schools. Kelly continues to be a strong supporter of the University of Georgia. She is a member of the Alumni Association and was an inaugural member of the Executive Committee for Women of UGA where she chaired events such as Cookies and Cocoa with Hairy Dawg to raise scholarship funds. The University of Georgia Alumni Association has recognized Kelly as a 40 Under 40.
Kelly worked as a substitute teacher for GCPS during her time as an undergrad and after graduation, so she knows firsthand what it is like inside the GCPS classrooms.
Kelly Kautz was elected the first female Mayor of Snellville in 2011. Prior to being elected Mayor of Snellville, Kelly served as a Snellville City Councilmember for 5 years and briefly served on the Planning Commission. As the Mayor of Snellville, Kelly was non-partisan. She worked with both Snellville's elected Republican and Democrat leaders. As an elected official Kelly developed a reputation for being straight forward and for having the courage to stand-up for what is right for the community. When Snellville was the only city in Gwinnett to not recognize MLK Day as a holiday, Kelly made sure to change it. Kelly co-founded the MLK Day parade and day of service. Kelly began efforts to diversify the City of Snellville's board appointments and staff including hiring the first African-American who held an administrative position-City Clerk.
Kelly has always supported the fine arts both in and outside of our schools. Kelly is the Chair of the Reflections Program for her son's school, and as Mayor of Snellville Kelly founded the Snellville Arts Commission and began the Art on the Wall at City Hall program.
As an elected official, Kelly understood the importance of hearing from her constituents. Kelly began several programs to provide the opportunity to hear from constituents and diverse groups of community stakeholders such as the Pastor Roundtable. Part of these programs was the Student Roundtable, where students from South Gwinnett, Brookwood, and Shiloh met with Kelly once a month to work on community projects. As Mayor, Kelly understood the importance of giving our youth a voice in the community. This program has grown into the current student ambassador program in Snellville.
Kelly is respected by her peers and is active in the legal community. Kelly is the founder and currently serves as the president of the Juvenile Law Section of the Gwinnett County Bar. She was elected and served as a past president of the Gwinnett County Defense Bar. Kelly has been recognized as a Rising Star Super Lawyer. Kelly has participated in Leadership Gwinnett and is a member of the Gwinnett Association of Women Lawyers. Kelly has also served as a Mock Trial coach and a judge for GCPS.
Kelly has demonstrated her commitment to our community by investing her time and skills in big and small ways. Kelly currently serves as the Vice-President of her son's PTSA where she chairs Reflections and Field Day. Kelly is a team mom for Brookwood Baseball and teaches Catechism at St. John Neumann. Kelly has volunteered as a basketball coach for several seasons with i-9 Sports and as a flag football coach with NFL Flag Football. She has served on the Board of Directors for STRAP, a youth mentoring program for at risk youth, and for LettumEat!, a non-profit that provides food services to the needy. Kelly also serves as a judge for Miss Georgia preliminary pageants and the Miss Brookwood Pageant.
Kelly is a single mother of an elementary aged son who attends public school in District 4. They have a new puppy, Rex who is a border collie. Kelly loves UGA football and is a season ticket holder. On the weekends you can find Kelly and her son at a local park or at school athletic events.