Kelly Purcaro | The Evolution of a Rainmaker: From Community College Student to Passionate Advocate for Justice

Kelly-PurcaroKelly Purcaro is a practicing attorney and Partner at A.Y. Strauss, a law firm based in New York and New Jersey. She is Co-chair of the Litigation Group, specializing in complex and commercial litigation across the United States, as well as the Chair of the Class Action practice group. Kelly has over a decade of experience as a skilled trial lawyer and dynamic litigator, representing both individual and institutional clients on matters including consumer fraud, breach of contract, commercial disputes, and more.

Before pursuing law, Kelly earned a Master of Social Work at Rutgers University and served as the Director of Government Relations for a non-profit. In addition to her current role at A.Y. Strauss, she also works as a pro bono attorney for victims of domestic violence, serving trial counsel through Alternatives to Domestic Violence (ADV) in New Jersey.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Kelly Purcaro discusses her path to becoming a lawyer
  • How Kelly’s experience with self-advocacy inspired her to go into litigation
  • Kelly describes her style and process when practicing law
  • The influence that Kelly’s mentors have had on her career
  • How Kelly began her journey as a Rainmaker and the importance of community outreach and giving back
  • Why Kelly decided to switch firms and become a Partner at A.Y. Strauss.
  • Kelly talks about the impact she hopes to have on her clients and the people around her
  • The unique challenges women experience in the legal field
  • Kelly’s advice to listeners: always ask questions

In this episode…

Is there a set path to becoming a lawyer? How do you choose your niche in the field? And, is defense work really the dark side of practicing law?

When Kelly Purcaro first began her path to becoming a lawyer, she had a degree in social work and a dream. Now, after years of hard work and a wide variety of side jobs, Kelly is a Partner at A.Y. Strauss, where she specializes in complex civil and commercial litigation. For Kelly, there was no set path to practicing law, and even now she tries to trust her gut when it comes to the evolution of her career. So, what is Kelly’s advice to new or practicing lawyers looking for their niche in the legal field?

On this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge podcast, Elise Holtzman talks with Kelly Purcaro, Partner at A.Y. Strauss, about her unique path to becoming a Rainmaker for her firm. Kelly discusses her experience as both a plaintiff and defense attorney, how being a woman shaped her career, and why giving back is a vital aspect of her role as Rainmaker. Tune in for all this and much more!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The Lawyer’s Edge, a firm based in the New York metropolitan area founded by Elise Holtzman in 2008 to help lawyers become skilled business developers and leaders so that they can grow their practices, retain top talent, and step confidently into leadership roles.

The firm offers customized coaching, consulting, and training programs such as their signature business development program, Lawyers Making Rain.

Now more than ever, it’s not enough to just do good work and hope your law firm will thrive. And no matter how smart and hard-working you are, it can be time-consuming and overwhelming to figure it all out by yourself.

To learn more about how we help lawyers become rainmakers and leaders, visit or email us at

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