Laura Jane Kessner currently serves as the Director for Central Operations for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. In that role, she supervises line operations in the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, including the Mental Health Division,
Pre-Filing Diversion Program and half of the Bureau of Branch and Area Operations, Region I. She is the chair of the Misdemeanor Steering Committee and has led the effort to reimagine misdemeanor prosecution for Los Angeles County. As a member of the District Attorney’s Office for over twenty-seven years, Laura Jane specialized in the prosecution of sex crimes and has responded to habeas corpus petitions and appeals in both state and federal courts. Laura Jane has improved office efficiency through technology, expanded the use of electronic subpoenas and helped create an electronic document repository and filing system.
Laura Jane graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in History. She received her J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and was a member of the Loyola Law Review.
Laura Jane is currently a member of the Board of Governors for the Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, serving as co-chair for the Career Development and Life Balance Committee. She is active in the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), serving on the State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee and in that role, has led committees vetting prospective Court of Appeal justices. She is a member of LACBA’s President’s Advisory Committee on Women in the Legal Profession (PAC) and has contributed to PAC’s Oral History Project, documenting stories of gender bias from prominent women in the legal profession.
In addition to her legal work, Laura Jane has been active in the community. She is the chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee for the United Friends of the Children, a nonprofit providing housing and educational opportunities for local foster youth. Laura Jane is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and started two Girl Scout troops consisting of 30 girls. She is a member of the Girl Scout Gold Award Committee and interviews and mentors prospective Gold Award applicants. Laura Jane previously served for two years as Co-President for the Marlborough School Parents’ Association, serving on the Equity, Education and Enrollment Committee and as an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees. She is also a sustaining member of the Junior League of Los Angeles and helped draft a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan that was adopted by the organization.
In her spare time, Laura Jane enjoys practicing yoga, reading books and spending time with her husband, children and cats, and dreams of becoming fluent in French.