This month, MCDA would like to introduce you to Assistant District Attorney Lauren Walsh. ADA Walsh graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in History and English before attending Fordham University School of Law. After going to school and practicing law out of state, she moved back to Mobile and became a prosecutor for our office. When she is not at the office she enjoys being out on the water, traveling, skiing, hiking, playing with her dogs, knitting, and Broadway musicals.
What is the most important thing in your life?
The people I surround myself with—foremost, my husband—and my family and friends.
Why did you choose to become a prosecutor for MCDA?
I had been seeking a more fulfilling way to practice law, which I was not finding in civil practice. While living in New York, I was part of jury selection for a criminal trial involving a child victim, and, when I saw an ADA around my age doing something so meaningful and truly pursuing justice, it planted the seed that I wanted to make a shift in my career.
What drives you? What motivates you to come to work each day?
The work that I do and the decisions I make have a direct impact on numerous people. The victims, most importantly, but also their families, the officers who risk their lives daily to keep our communities safe, and the defendants who are charged with serious crimes. I am very cognizant of that, and it leaves no room for a workday sentiment of “I don’t feel like it today.” I’m grateful that my work matters, and I know I have a serious responsibility to everyone involved in the prosecution of criminal cases.
What is the most difficult or stressful thing about your job?
Knowing that, if I do not get justice for the victim of a crime, it is likely the end of that victim’s opportunities for recourse. It’s a big effort for a victim to be part of the process and have to face the person who victimized them to begin with. It’s heartbreaking when they come to court, make themselves vulnerable by reliving a traumatic situation, and don’t get the desired outcome.
What is your advice for someone seeking a career in the criminal justice system?
From the perspective of someone who, when trying to figure out life after law school, did a wide variety of legal internships except anything related to criminal law, don’t be afraid of starting something new on the later side. I was not sure I’d be able to make the transition to criminal law after practicing in civil law. I was worried about “starting over” in my career, but I am so glad I did not let that stop me from trying. I’m happier in this job than I have been in any other job I’ve had.
If you could pick one thing to change within our legal system what would it be?
I’d like to see a societal change in how we screen and treat mental illness, which would have an impact on our legal system. Hopefully, more preemptive measures would result in fewer people with mental health issues committing crimes.
Has there been anyone who has influenced you personally or professionally?
My parents are the hardest working people I know, and I am inspired by their resilience, commitment, and selflessness every day.