MEET JULIE KAELIN

A Louisvillian Through and Through

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Judge Julie was born and raised right here in Louisville. Her dad, Mike, worked two jobs while playing football for U of L and serving in the United States Marine Corps. After college, he joined the U.S. Army Reserves, specializing in Hostage Negotiation as an MP, and went to work full-time in the insurance business. Her mom, Janice, worked as an elementary school teacher for many years.

Julie's parents both worked multiple jobs to put her and her brothers through Catholic schools. Julie ultimately landed at Presentation Academy for high school, and is proud to still be friends with many of her Topper classmates! After high school, Julie went to U of L for her Bachelors Degree, and, despite a career counselor telling her she'd never make it in law school, she in fact excelled there, and attended on a partial scholarship. Between college and law school, Julie worked in Public Relations for LG&E and then a local nonprofit. After law school, Julie worked as a personal injury attorney. She realized she liked fighting for the underdog, but was looking for more meaningful work. She was then lucky enough to be hired as a Public Defender, and discovered her love for criminal law.

After nearly five years as a Public Defender in Louisville, Julie made the brave step of opening her own law firm. At the time, there was not a single female attorney practicing criminal defense in Louisville without a male partner or associate. Many people told Julie she would not be able to make it without a male partner, but she did. She is proud to say the firm flourished and grew. Her best friend, Karen Faulkner, soon joined her in practice, and they became the Faulkner Kaelin Law Office. 

 

For 8 years, in both public and private representation, Julie assisted people charged with crimes, victims of crimes, domestic violence victims, and others who found themselves in need of a strong voice. Julie enjoyed an excellent reputation as an attorney who fights hard but fair, and who makes sure things are done the right way. She had a strong practice in both state and federal courts, and was known for being an excellent trial lawyer. She taught Trial Practice at the Brandeis School of Law at U of L for two semesters, and was a faculty member at the prestigious, annual, two-week National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia.

 

Over the years, Julie saw inefficiency in how the Courts operate, a need for them to be more accountable to the public, and a desire to connect citizens with the court system in ways that benefit everyday people. She bravely decided to run against an incumbent in 2018 - an incumbent who gave his campaign $100,000 and who had a very well known name. Spending less than $15,000 and with a slogan of "More Than a Name," Julie ultimately received all major endorsements in that race, and went on to win the election with 63% of the vote. She was sworn in as a Jefferson District Court Judge in January, 2019. Courts should work for the people, not for their own best interest. Julie has worked tirelessly, often facing harsh opposition and criticism, to make changes that benefit the people of Louisville. Julie is thrilled to be running for the position of Circuit Court Judge, and will do everything she can to make sure that the system progresses and that justice prevails.