Alison’s Mental Health Work
Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office
Alison served as victim witness advocate under District Attorney, now Congressman, William R. Keating for three years after graduating college. She supported victims of domestic violence in navigating the legal system and worked hand in hand with prosecutors, police officers, and defense attorneys on a daily basis. It was this job that drove her to social work school to find ways to better support people in crisis. This work also provided a strong foundation in criminal procedure as Alison was the person tasked with explaining the law and case progression to victims and witnesses.
Alison pursued her Master’s of Social Work while working full time at the District Attorney’s office. Two to three evenings a week she would leave the courthouse and head to class or her field placement. She completed two comprehensive field placements as part of her Master’s program. First she served as community support worker with Bridge Over Troubled Waters, manning the mobile outreach van, in the evenings after work, providing services to at risk, homeless youth. Her second field placement was with her future employer, the Home For Little Wanderers in the Safe at Home Program.
The Home For Little Wanderers
Alison worked for three years at one of the oldest and largest non-profits in Massachusetts. Initially she was a direct care worker in the Therapeutic After School Program, where she provided emotional and clinical support to at risk youth. She then served as an intern in the family therapy department where she was later hired full time with the In Home Services program. She worked to prevent children from long term admission to mental health facilities. Her work here allowed her to see the many different systems that could be involved with a family in crisis. She supported clients in legal struggles, medical challenges, and in day to day functioning. Her work in inner city Boston, left a lasting impression on her. She approaches family law cases as a social worker first and lawyer second in an effort to ensure clients feel heard and supported.
Arizona Department of Child Safety
Alison moved to Arizona to work as an Investigator in the South Phoenix Office of Child Protective Services (now known as DCS). For several month she handled a case load of abuse and neglect cases and developed an intimate understanding of the child welfare system in Arizona. This work was exhausting, physically and emotionally, but Alison firmly believes it is what drove her to the study of the law. It was hard work but it was worth it.
Southwest Human Development
Alison served as a Family Therapist in the In Home Services Program at Southwest Human Development for a year before leaving to pursue law. She worked with families identified by the Department of Child Safety as high risk and provided counseling and support. She provided individual counseling, family therapy, and crisis work in this role and grew as a clinician, while further identifying weaknesses in the legal system in terms of families and children.
Aurora Behavioral Health
During law school Alison worked per diem at Aurora Behavioral Health, a free standing, inpatient psychiatric facility, providing services for adolescents and adults. Alison dealt directly with patients in acute psychiatric crisis and provided treatment planning and comprehensive support for patients and their families. This was the most challenging aspect of Alison’s mental health career, but the most rewarding. If her work in law wasn’t so time consuming, she would return every other weekend for her per diem shifts.
Alison’s Career in Law
Thus, the law was a natural career progression for Alison given her passion for helping others and for serving the underserved. Alison understands that people need and seek lawyers when they require assistance. Thus, she is compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others. She is not scared to fight for her clients and feels it is her privilege to take on a person’s legal matter.