Main content

Kimberley Motley, lawyer

Kimberley Motley, lawyer, chooses the eight tracks, book and luxury item she would take with her if cast away to a desert island. With Lauren Laverne.

Kimberley Motley is an American attorney and the first foreign lawyer to practise in Afghanistan.

Born in 1975 to an African-American father and a North Korean mother, she grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where hers was the only mixed-race family - and the only family with two parents. Education was very important to her parents, who sent their four children to private schools and also paid for extra tutoring.

After completing degrees in Criminal Justice and Law, Kimberley spent five years working as a Public Defender before taking up the opportunity in 2008 to go to Afghanistan for a year to train local lawyers. Her husband, Claude, stayed in the US to take care of their three children. When her one-year contract in Afghanistan came to an end, she decided to stay and started her own private legal practice.

Initially she only took on foreign clients, but once she had familiarised herself with the intricacies of local laws and customs, she accepted her first Afghan client. She has gone on to build a thriving practice, with a 70-30% ratio of paid to pro-bono work. Her practice now extends to other parts of the world including Uganda, Ghana and the UAE and earlier this year she published a book about her working life.

DISC ONE: Will Smith - A Nightmare on My Street
DISC TWO: Elton John - I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues
DISC THREE: LL Cool J - I'm Bad
DISC FOUR: KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
DISC FIVE: Dizzee Rascal featuring Calvin Harris - Dance Wiv Me
DISC SIX: Ed Sheeran - I See Fire
DISC SEVEN: The Black Eyed Peas - Pump It
DISC EIGHT: Kendrick Lamar - DNA

BOOK CHOICE: 1984 by George Orwell
LUXURY ITEM: Business card holder with photo of her children
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Pump It by Black Eyed Peas

Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Cathy Drysdale

Available now

51 minutes

Broadcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Articles

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?

Podcast