Karen Krauser has left her mark on the justice system of Clay County. It’s where she got her start as an assistant prosecuting attorney, working her way up to deputy chief. After serving as a municipal court judge, Gov. Jay Nixon appointed her as an associate circuit judge on the Seventh Circuit in 2012. Krauser also serves on numerous committees and other groups to help improve the legal profession, such as the Committee on Practice and Procedure in Municipal Division Cases, which is developing a Bill of Rights for litigants in municipal courts as well as municipal court standards and best practices.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
First, the proudest moment of my career was becoming an associate circuit judge for the great state of Missouri. Secondly, I had the privilege of performing the first same-sex marriage in Clay County to a couple who had been together for 20 years.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
Watching “Silence of the Lambs” solidified the path of criminal justice for me. I began studying the criminal mind from then forward. During undergraduate studies, I started at the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office. Once I set foot in the courtroom, I knew I could never leave. I had found my home.
What is the best advice you have given or received?
When I graduated from college, I received a card from a dear friend that read, “Some people will say that you are going the wrong way, when it is simply a way of your own.” That card is framed and still sits on my desk today to serve as a reminder to always be true to myself.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
Instead of fairy tale characters, I grew up with science fiction and predominately Star Wars. I did not want to be Cinderella or Snow White. I wanted to be feisty, diplomat Princess Leia who could fight.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be an astronaut living on the first colony on the moon. My poor math skills, terrible eyesight, and abandoned space programs kept me from my ultimate goal.