KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Beating the odds is nothing new for Karin McGrath, practicing attorney at Rockhill Pinnick and judicial candidate for Superior Court 3; it’s what she’s been doing since she started her legal career.
Unlike most of her colleagues and all of her opponents in the race for Superior Court 3, McGrath did not follow the traditional path to a legal career; instead, she put her dream to practice law on hold to raise a family with her husband of 33 years, Keith.
“My initial interest in the law was sparked as a Purchasing Agent back in the ’80s,” McGrath said. “I was negotiating contracts and evaluating license agreements and, in the process, discovered not only a knack for analyzing tough legal issues but also a real love for the law. Despite a strong pull to explore the legal field further, God had other plans. My husband, Keith, transferred to a new job and we decided to start a family. So, I decided to focus on my family and on investing in my community.”
And invest she did. Along with raising her two children, her son Gavin, a recent medical school graduate, and daughter Calli, mother of Karin and Keith’s two grandchildren, McGrath served with the PTO, Habitat for Humanity, and other local organizations. She was also deeply involved in Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church, serving on various committees, singing in the choir, coordinating a midweek children’s group, and directing the adult and children’s drama teams. McGrath was a substitute teacher for Warsaw Community Schools as well.
Yet, the fire that was initially sparked back in her purchasing agent days was never quelled. McGrath cites many experiences throughout her children’s younger years that would bring her back to that interest in the law—whether it be legal issues arising with an organization or needing to fight against an unscrupulous builder. Finally, as her children reached their teen years, the pull towards law was something she no longer could ignore.
So, at the age of 42, McGrath enrolled in Valparaiso University School of Law, with the overwhelming support of her family and friends.
“I remember sitting in my very first law class, Civil Procedure, easily the oldest person in the room by a decade (or more) and feeling this overwhelming sense of accomplishment,” she said. “I had done it. I was finally a law student.”
However McGrath didn’t rest on that accomplishment for long. She immediately began the important yet tricky balance between family and law school, including the commute to Valparaiso, responsibilities at home, family dinners, helping children with their homework, and then her own legal studies.
“No matter what, the most important thing I’ve done is raise these individuals who will go on after I’m gone to carry on their own missions,” she said. “Becoming and now being a practicing lawyer is very important to me, but my first priority is family.”
After graduation, McGrath was hired by Dan Hampton in the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office where she served with distinction for over seven years. During that time, she managed a staggering case load covering a wide variety of crimes, from misdemeanors to major felonies. She also conducted countless bench trials and multiple felony criminal jury trials, including OWIs and OWI Causing Death. Due to her trial experience, she is qualified to try every level of felony case in Indiana short of Murder. (Attorneys become “qualified” to conduct trials at various levels based on the number and level of trials they have participated in.)
McGrath’s exemplary work in the Prosecutor’s Office garnered her respect from her colleagues and law enforcement officers around the County. She was known as a tough but fair prosecutor, who relentlessly pursued the cases brought to her. The high esteem McGrath had earned, combined with her tireless work ethic, netted her a job offer from Warsaw law firm Rockhill Pinnick, which she ultimately accepted. She now has the pleasure of helping clients find resolution in all sorts of areas of the law including family, civil, criminal, municipal, estate planning, land use/zoning, and juvenile.
“Helping members of our community find resolutions to their problems has been infinitely fulfilling and enjoyable”, McGrath said.
Paid for by the committee to elect Karin McGrath for Superior Court 3.