Emily Kelchen, the daughter of Bill and Kathy Kiddoo, is making her mark on the New Jersey legal community. Kelchen has been named a “New Leader of the Bar” by the New Jersey Law Journal, and was recently surprised with a special award from the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD).

According to the Law Journal, the New Leader of the Bar Award identifies attorneys that represent the future of the legal profession in New Jersey, and it is considered the most important recognition the legal publication gives out. When making its selections, the awards committee evaluates professional achievements, leadership positions, commitment to pro bono and charitable volunteer work, and other factors that distinguish individuals from their peers.

This May, Kelchen also received the YLD Executive Committee Award. The recognition came as a pleasant surprise to her because she was serving as the chair of the YLD’s awards committee so she thought she knew who all the honorees were. During the awards presentation, the YLD executive committee thanked Kelchen for her willingness to pitch in wherever she was needed. The committee also lauded the positive changes she made to the YLD newsletter, which for the first time included a salary and compensation survey that young lawyers can use to benchmark their income, benefits, and other aspects of their work life.

Kelchen’s legal specialty is government affairs. She is currently employed as director of public affairs for the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute in Trenton, New Jersey. NJCJI advocates for a civil justice system that treats all parties fairly and discourages lawsuit abuse.