Dawn graduated from Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska in May of 1993. She was admitted to the bar of the State of Illinois on December 20, 1993. Dawn is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Tazewell County Bar Association and was formerly a member of the Child Death Review Team. She began as an Assistant State's Attorney in and for the County of Tazewell on January 3, 1994. During her tenure with the State's Attorney's Office, Dawn first practiced in Juvenile Court until November of 1994, at which time she was appointed Special Prosecutor in the area of Domestic Violence. For the next 5 1/2 years Dawn prosecuted violent offenses within families and against children, with an occasional burglary thrown in to keep her sane. Dawn was responsible for charging decisions in family violence cases and supervised the attorney handling these cases in misdemeanor court. Dawn also supervised the Juvenile Division of the State's Attorney's Office for a period of time after her assignment to felony court.
During this time, Dawn and Tom started the Tazewell County House of Hope, Carol Home, which is the only shelter in Tazewell County for victims of domestic violence and their children. This endeavor was a humbling experience. Carol Home opened in May of 1999 and continues to provide a safe haven for abused women and children in Tazewell County. Dawn also taught training classes for police officers in the Tenth Judicial Circuit through the Illinois State Police Mobile Training program, as well as held seminars for Tazewell County officers to address changes in the laws, and report writing and evidentiary issues officers faced during the course of an investigation.
In August of 1999, Dawn left the State's Attorney's Office and has been in private practice ever since. Dawn and her husband Tom have finally realized their dream of opening their own firm and being able to spend more time together and with their children.