Mary Kelly Persyn is Founding Attorney & Principal of Persyn Law & Policy and Vice President of Legal Affairs for Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco.
Persyn’s law practice comprises service to BGCSF as in-house counsel and pro bono service as amicus counsel to the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, where she also chairs the amicus committee. Persyn Law & Policy, which she founded in 2015, has worked to advance the profession’s understanding of how toxic stress and childhood trauma, including trauma inflicted by race- and gender-based discrimination, impact the health, well-being, and life outcomes of affected youth. She has published articles, op-eds, and literary criticism in addition to authoring appellate amicus briefs that offer expertise to state and federal courts on a range of matters, among them DACA and gender-affirming care for minors.
Persyn earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from UCLA and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees with honors from the University of Washington. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. She served as a judicial law clerk to the late Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.