About Kelly

Diedre Pierce Kelly for JUDGE

Diedre Pierce Kelly was born in New Orleans and raised in the Carrollton area. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Dillard University (New Orleans, LA) and had the opportunity to study abroad for 6 months at the University of Namibia in Southern Africa through the Africa Peace Education Program. She chose Africa to develop her knowledge because she knew early that her purpose was to fight for those who could not fight for themselves. While abroad, she volunteered and tutored young children struggling in school. Diedre donated various school supplies and daily hygiene items for the female students.

Diedre was recognized for her outstanding achievements while on the Dean’s list, member of the Student National Government and member of Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society. After Hurricane Katrina, she continued her work in the criminal justice field by becoming a parole officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Diedre supervised a caseload of more than 100 parolees who she was determined to assist in returning to live in a positive environment while increasing community-based programs to assist with their rehabilitation. After this experience, she knew that she needed to be an advocate for released inmates, so that they would be more productive in society and not add to the recidivism rate.

Diedre earned her Juris Doctorate Degree from Southern University Law School where she graduated Cum Laude. While in law school, she received the CALI award two years in a row for the highest grade in Legal Writing, she was a Board member of the Business and Entrepreneur Leadership Association (BELA), Member of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), Member of Criminal Law Clinic, and a Staff writer on the Journal of Race, Poverty & Gender.

Diedre Pierce Kelly had another opportunity to travel aboard and studied Private International and Criminal Law. As a 2nd and 3rd year student, she worked as a Legal Intern with the law firm of Spears and Spears and the Public Defender’s Office of East Baton Rouge Parish. Diedre worked under an outstanding team that assisted and fought for wrongly arrested and convicted offenders to secure their freedom. It was then that she developed a passion to assist underprivileged and overlooked individuals.

After law school, Diedre began her legal career as an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Spears & Spears, Attorney at Law in New Orleans. She has represented thousands of clients in various courts throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area while continuing to fight for the rights of the voiceless. She has worked on many cases pro bono and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Modest Means program because every person should have a right to quality representation even if they cannot afford it.

She currently serves as the Chief of Staff to New Orleans City Councilmember Oliver M. Thomas, Jr. and convened several meetings with criminal justice stakeholders to develop a plan to deal with safety and quality of life issues as part of his role as Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee. She is also a contract Attorney with Delgado Community College providing advice on Title IX/ Power based cases. Prior to accepting the chief of staff position, Kelly worked for the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s office assisting with legal matters and real estate auctions.

She was previously the legislative assistant in the Louisiana Legislature to former State Senator Wesley T. Bishop and Congressman Troy Carter, whom both were assigned to the Judiciary Committee. This afforded Kelly the opportunity to collaborate on legislation that would lead to a reduction in crime and recidivism.

Diedre donates her time to volunteer with the ReEntry Clinic with the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana to provide free legal assistance. She is committed to making a difference in her community. She is a former board member of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) and former member of Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale (MKFF). She is currently Vice Chair of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABO) serving a second term, a member of the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee and a member of the Independent Women’s Organization of New Orleans (IWO). Diedre is also a member of the American Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association; New Orleans Bar Association; Louis A. Martinet Legal Society; Urban League of Louisiana, Young Professionals; League of Women Voters of New Orleans; Emerge of America, the Mid City Rotary Club and NAACP. She has volunteered her time to the NO AIDS walk, Habitat for Humanity, and Audubon Charter School. In 2017-2018, Kelly was in the graduating class of the Institute of Politics (New Orleans), where she learned various campaign strategies.

In February 2019, she was also a recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute (CBCI) Advocacy and Campaign Training. In July 2019, she was in the graduating class of Emerge Boot Camp where she developed lasting relationships with her class sisters. Diedre specializes in Criminal Defense (Adult and Juvenile), DWI/DUI, Traffic and Municipal matter as well as Personal Injury.

Diedre Pierce Kelly is the mother of two children, and an active member of New Home Ministries Church and the Seabrook Homeowners Association.


Southern University Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA
JD Received, May 2010

London City University, London, England
Studied International Law and International Criminal Law, Summer 2008

Dillard University, New Orleans, LA
Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice/ Sociology, May 2005

University of Namibia, Namibia, South Africa
Studied International Politics, Exchange Student, January 2004-June 2004

McDonogh #35 Senior High School, New Orleans, Louisiana
Diploma Received, May 2001


New Orleans City Council, District E, New Orleans, Louisiana
Chief of Staff, January 2022 - Present

Delgado Community College, New Orleans, Louisiana
Contract Attorney, February 14th, 2022 - Present

Spears & Spears, Attorneys at Law, New Orleans, Louisiana
Senior Associate Attorney, October 2011 - December 2021

Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, New Orleans, Louisiana
Staff Attorney, June 2021 - January 2022

Louisiana State Senate, District 4
Legislative Assistant, January 2016 - January 2020

Louisiana House of Representatives, District 99
Legislative Assistant, January 2011 - January 2016

Southern University Law Center, Criminal Law Clinic
Student Attorney, October 2009 - April 2010

Public Defender’s Office, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Law Clerk/Intern, September 2008 - May 2009

Southern University Law Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Teaching Assistant, August 2008 - April 2010

Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Houston, Texas
Parole Officer, January 2006 - August 2006


  • Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA), Member
  • New Orleans Bar Association (NOBA), Member
  • American Bar Association (ABA), Member
  • Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc., Member
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABO), Former Vice Chair
  • Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee (OPDEC), Member - District D
  • Independent Women Organization (IWO), Fellow
  • Loyola Institute of Politics (IOP), Fellow
  • Congressional Black Caucus Institute (CBC), Boot Camp Fellow
  • Emerge America, Fellow
  • Urban League of Louisiana, Young Professionals
  • League of Women Voters of New Orleans, Member
  • NAACP, Member
  • New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), Former Member
  • Rotary Club of Mid-City New Orleans, Member

On March 25th,

please vote for me,

Diedre Pierce Kelly for Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge - Section A