Elizabeth Murphy practiced alongside her father and founding partner, J. Thomas West, for nearly fifteen years before his retirement in 2020. From a very young age, she watched her father help others through the practice of law and always knew that was what she wanted to do. Now she works with co-founder Reggie Kelly, and with the advice of Thomas West in his role as “of counsel” to the firm, to help Kelly & West’s clients navigate difficult times in their lives.
She loves to listen to people and their stories. She says, “Every client has a story. Only by hearing their story and really listening can you truly discover ways you can help them.” She is very thankful that her studies and her experience have given her a fuller understanding of the law because her knowledge and understanding allow her to be creative and think outside the box to find additional ways of helping folks in need.
“It’s not just about having a certain type of case, but about taking a ‘whole person’ approach to finding the best possible solution. So many other attorneys are too busy patting themselves on the backs and miss the opportunity to really help.”
Elizabeth knows that the journey elderly, injured and disabled folks face can be steep and every day she looks forward to creatively helping and inspiring them to do their best despite their disabilities and to creatively drafting documents that protect them and their families in hopes of making life a little easier for them.
“It’s like the starfish story. An older man was walking along the shore after a storm had washed up many starfish and he was bending and picking up the starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. He was approached by a young man who said, ‘Sir, why are you throwing the starfish back into the ocean?’ To which the older man replied, “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I don’t throw them back they will die.’ To that, the young man says, ‘But, old man, don’t you know there are miles and miles of beach, and you can’t possibly save them all. In fact, if you work all day, you will not even save one-tenth of them.’ The old man listened calmly and then stooped to pick up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He said, ‘It made a difference to that one.’
I love that story, and I think it paints the perfect picture of what it is that we here at Kelly & West and that I, as a lawyer, try to do every day.”
Elizabeth is thankful for her husband and high school sweetheart of over 20 years, Jonathan Murphy, also of Dunn. They attend Divine Street United Methodist Church in Dunn, and together they have two children, Will and Addison.