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Judge Kristin Shotwell


Following 23 years of professional experience in the criminal justice and social services systems, Judge Shotwell was appointed to the King County District Court bench in 2021.

As an attorney, Judge Shotwell served as a public defender, trial attorney and attorney supervisor for civil commitments and felonies. She represented more than 2,000 people in felony, misdemeanor and involuntary civil commitment proceedings.

Judge Shotwell’s experience in the social services includes conducting social work assessments and preparing treatment plans for hundreds of people, where she focused on global needs and effectiveness, particularly addiction and mental health. She served clients in a wide range of settings, including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, assisted living facilities and the criminal justice system.

Throughout her career, Judge Shotwell has been committed to reducing criminal recidivism in order to improve the lives of individual people as well as to support healthier communities.

Judge Shotwell earned a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Hawai’i Law School, where she was valedictorian; a master’s in social work from the University of Washington; and a B.A. in psychology from Yale University.

She has been a state-certified Spanish language interpreter for more than 20 years.