Kerrie Margo (Ticknor) Droban '87 studied English at Union College before earning a master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and an M.F.A. and J.D. from the University of Arizona. She’s now a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix specializing in capital appellate and post-conviction relief. Her first capital case was heard before the United States Supreme Court and resulted in the reversal of 180 death row cases nationwide and the implementation of jury sentencings. Kerrie is also the author of six best-selling memoir/true crime books. Her memoir, Vagos, Mongols & Outlaws, was made into the television series “Gangland Undercover.” It was produced by the History Channel for two seasons and nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. A national speaker and expert consultant on outlaw motorcycle gangs and the pathology of the criminal mind, Kerrie’s work has also been featured on the true crime television shows “American Greed” and “Investigation ID.” She is a member of the Arizona State Bar, Poets & Writers, the Arizona Author’s Association and The Writer’s Guild. Kerrie enjoys hiking, speaking, mentoring other writers, designing writing workshops and supporting her sons’ music endeavors.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your career or volunteer activities?
The most challenging aspects of my dual careers are also the most rewarding. Working closely with criminals – both in the legal system and through my book projects – has given me fascinating insight into violent subcultures, undercover operations and the pathology of the criminal mind. Practicing law and writing true crime have been dangerous and thrilling careers. In both professions, I am afforded opportunities to tell a story, inspire an audience and expose a world rarely seen by most. Everyone has a story, not everyone has a voice.
Who inspired/inspires you, both professionally and personally?
Author Glennon Melton-Doyle inspires me personally because she’s not afraid to speak her truth and delivers a powerful, raw performance each time she presents.
What advice would you offer today’s women students, not just at Union, but across the country?
Today’s women should do what they love, believe in themselves and avoid people who make them feel “less than.” Live in a state of grace. It is possible to have it all without sacrificing integrity, dreams, children and a successful career. Life is about choices, choose wisely. And always remember to take time out every day to do something nice just for you. I buy myself flowers.
What was your most formative experience at Union?
My most formative experience at Union was participating in the theater program and performing in multiple plays.