While most of her colleagues were still learning from textbooks, Kristen was gaining hands-on criminal defense experience by trying real cases. During her time as a Law Clerk at the Alexandria Public Defender's Office, Kristen was the lead attorney for a variety of cases, and took several of them to trial. She also worked as the lead attorney on cases involving juveniles accused of various crimes. In Alexandria, and during her time at both the Norfolk and Hampton Public Defenders, Kristen was involved in every stage of criminal cases. She has assisted with pre-trial investigations, trial preparation and strategy, and appeals to both the Virginia Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. As a result, Kristen is well-versed in the recent trial techniques and constitutional theories.