Member of the Month: Kristin Johnson, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia
• What are you currently working on?
I am the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Juvenile Division working in Diversion. This covers Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. This court is designed for juveniles with substance abuse problems that come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Previously, juvenile drug courts closely mirrored the adult drug courts. In Philadelphia we have one of the largest and the oldest juvenile drug courts in Pennsylvania. We are in the process of rewriting the guidelines to make them more juvenile friendly. We are also advocating for a 30 day inpatient rehab facility for juveniles.
• What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia?
The most enjoyable aspect of being a member of the Barristers’ Association is the safe space that membership creates for new attorneys. Attending meetings and hearing that although we all have different practice areas, we often face the same challenges is encouraging.
• What has been the most important personal attribute in your legal career?
My faith is the muscle I have exercised the most thus far. This profession can be chaotic at times and the tides may quickly turn. My faith keeps my feet on the ground.
• Tell us about what you do every day at work?
I spend most of my days in the courtroom. For diversion court rooms there are typically teams assigned to each juvenile. These teams vary but may consist of a City Solicitor, DHS, a Child Advocate and delinquent counsel. I see the same juveniile bi-weekly and monthly in some instances. These hearings often last until late in the afternoon. Once I return to the office I document the cases for that day and prepare the next day of cases.
• If you hit the lottery tonight, where could we find you tomorrow?
Tomorrow you will find me packing my mother’s suitcases. She deserves a vacation.
• What has been the best moment of your career thus far?
Beginning my career with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. I truly enjoy the work that I am doing and it is the only job I have ever wanted.
• What is the most important advice you can give to members of the Barristers?
Remain authentic. Make the necessary changes to be the most impactful at work while maintaining your personal brand.
*If you are interested in nominating a Barrister for Member of the Month, please email your nomination with a few sentences describing the individual’s merit to firstname.lastname@example.org.