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Effingham Magazine

Kelsey Kicklighter (Bartlett): Passion & Purpose at Kicklighter Law

Kelsey Kicklighter (Bartlett): Passion & Purpose at Kicklighter Law


Kelsey Kicklighter (Bartlett) joined Kicklighter Law as an associate in September. The Mercer Law graduate has been practicing law for five years. Kelsey currently handles civil litigation, construction litigation and personal injury cases. She enjoys working alongside the talented team of professionals at Kicklighter Law. She is passionate about her profession while she is also a proud wife and mom. Kelsey and her husband Trey are the parents of a beautiful baby boy, Beau.


Kelsey initially pursued a degree in psychology. While interning at a psychiatric facility prior to graduating, she noticed recurring flaws and countless rifts in the system. The revelation was alarming, motivating her to pursue a career in law in order to become an instrument of positive change.

“I prayed about it. I thought about it. I talked to my mentors—my dad, my mom, my granddad, to name a few. I enjoyed law school, and I have enjoyed practicing law. I love being a lawyer,” she says.

Putting Her Passion into Practice

Kelsey has been privileged to practice alongside several accomplished attorneys. Upon graduating from law school, she practiced at Brown, Readdick, Bumgartner, Carter, Strickland & Watkins, LLP, a litigation firm in Brunswick, Georgia servicing individuals, businesses and the local government. Kelsey gained experience as a defense attorney, representing county and city governments while also handling personal auto injury cases.

“I worked with some amazing attorneys there. I had to learn all the roles that everyone in the firm performed in order to master each skill,” she says.

Kelsey later spent three and a half years at Hall Booth Smith, P.C. in Atlanta; she primarily handled psychiatric and medical malpractice cases. She also continued providing legal defense for the county and city government along with auto injury defense.

“I really learned a lot about the personal injury practice of law. I made lifelong friends and gained some mentors. I’m thankful to them for helping me become the lawyer I am today,” she says.

Balance, Boundaries & Communication

As an ambitious woman in business, Kelsey appreciates the benefit of maintaining that key balance between family and profession. The dutiful wife and mom treasures priceless time with her family while the committed law professional loves her job. She cherishes the people in her life that have supported her endeavors.

“I couldn’t do any of it without my husband being the amazing man that he is. He has always supported my dreams. Both of our families have been there when we’ve needed them, especially since we’ve had our son. We’ve been incredibly blessed to have them around,” she comments.

Moreover, Kelsey knows that women have often faced unique challenges in the workplace, whether navigating the uncharted world of new motherhood while in a demanding profession or striving to attain a promotion while embracing the many responsibilities associated with being a wife and mom. She feels that a healthy balance in life is essential. Her advice to businesswomen is to establish honest lines of communication at home and at work.

“I communicate my work goals to my husband, and he always supports me. I have also been very blessed to work with understanding people,” she says.

Kelsey recognizes the importance of incorporating good boundaries in business and family life.

“Creating those boundaries that keep work at work and home at home has allowed me to succeed at both. I can be a workaholic; my husband gently and kindly reminds me that ‘The work is going to be there tomorrow,’ ’’ she adds.


Kelsey is grateful for the extraordinary mentors in her life: her dad Claude “Mickey” Kicklighter, Jr., her mom Kim and her grandfather Claude “Mick” Kicklighter, Sr. She also expresses utmost gratitude for Amanda “Mandy” Hargrove.

“My mom, dad and granddad all taught me ways to balance work, family and faith by exhibiting it through their lives. Mandy has been an inspiration to me as well. I grew up watching her work here—doing it all as a mom with two beautiful children,” she says.

Kelsey is on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Georgia (NAMI - Georgia), an organization that is near and dear to her heart. She is also a member of the State Bar of Georgia, and she is on the Board of Directors for the Young Lawyers Division (YLD).

 Kelsey enjoys working alongside her dad Mickey; she feels that he exemplifies what a successful law professional looks like.

“I’m really enjoying learning from my dad, who has practiced law for over 40 years. My goal is to soak in as much as I can and get better with every experience,” she says.


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