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The DA

The Ledger-Enquirer newspaper in Columbus, Ga., published a major feature story this weekend on the first female prosecutor of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit — Washington and Lee alumna Julia Slater, a 1993 graduate of the School of Law. The story was based, in part, on a guilty verdict that Julia had won in a 25-year-old murder case back in April.

Julia had been an upset winner for district attorney in her home town of Columbus, Ga., in 2008, and she told the Ledger-Enquirer that she intends to run for re-election. She had served as an assistant district attorney, specializing in juvenile crimes, from 1994 to 2003. Now, as DA, she is very much in the spotlight and has been particularly active in prosecuting so-called “cold cases” that have been brought to her by police. Such cases, she said, are not only important to the families of the victims but also to the community.

Given the nature of the job, she is not without her critics, according to the media, and Julia admits that she doesn’t fit the model of the DA to which the community has been accustomed. In the interview with the Ledger-Enquirer, she said: “It’s not a perception carried by everybody, and I wouldn’t even say the majority of people. But there are some that think the DA should be a man, that all lawyers should be men. Some people just come from that school, from that way of thinking that decision-makers and those in charge should be men. I’ve faced some challenges with people that believe that way.”

The newspaper story includes a video at the bottom of the page in which Julia talks at length about her work.

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