Karen McDonald has defined her career by fighting for the needs of Oakland County families and children. She served in the Family Division of the Oakland County Circuit Court for the past seven years, working day in and day out to serve her community and make a positive impact on each person who entered her courtroom.
Her legal career began as an Oakland County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney from 1999-2004 where she prosecuted child sexual assault cases as well as general misdemeanors and felonies. In the prosecutor’s office, she has a 100% conviction rate. Karen has served as a member of the Foster Care Review Board Program Advisory Committee, DHHS Human Trafficking Protocol Revision Committee, Child Death Review Committee, Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, National Counsel of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and Michigan Judges Association.
She’s a member of the Women’s Lawyer Association of Michigan and the Oakland County Bar Association. Karen is also an Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellow. She has a proven record fighting for our families and working to hold people accountable and reunite families who have suffered from our broken criminal justice system. Now, she’s running for Oakland County Prosecutor to bring experience, drive, and passion to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Experience & Accolades
- Elected to the Oakland County Circuit Court, November 2012. Served until April 2019 as a family court judge with a docket of divorce/custody, child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquent matters.
- Former private practice attorney and shareholder at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss P.C., specializing in civil and family law, 2004-2013
- Former Oakland County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 1999-2004. Prosecuted misdemeanors and felonies. Maintained 100 percent conviction rate.
- Former English high school teacher 1992-1995
- Graduate of Wayne State University Law School, Cum Laude, May 1998
- 1996 Dean’s Scholar
- Bronze Key Certificate, 1996
- The Wayne Law Review, Note and Comment Editor
- Graduate of Alma College, 1992
- Member Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellow
- Member Oakland County Bar Association
- Member Michigan Judges Association
- Member National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
- Member Michigan Inter-Professional Association
- Member Women Lawyers Association of Michigan
- Member Foster Care Review Board Program Advisory Committee
- Member DHHS Human Trafficking Protocol Revision Committee
- Member Child Death Review Committee
- Member Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force
- Former Board Member, Michigan CASA, 2016-2018
- Former Board Member, Starfish Family Services, 2010-2013
- Former Member, Department of Human Services Child Welfare Task Force, 2005
- Former Member, Women’s Justice Center, 1998-1999
- Seminar Leader, Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases Workshop, 2018
- Presenter, 18th Annual Family Law Institute, “Working with Traumatized Clients”
- Presenter, 17th Annual Family Law Institute Seminar
- Co-Editor, Institute of Continuing Education, “Michigan Family Law” 2020 Edition
- Presenter, “Dealing with Domestic Violence Victims as Personal Protection Petitioners,” developed and presented training for court employees and judges.
- Recipient, Oakland County Domestic Violence Prevention Award, 2018
- Recipient, Joan E. Young Champion of Children Award, 2018