By Maria Saporta
Prominent Atlanta attorney Karol Mason keeps moving up in the world.
She has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Justice Programs.
Mason, a lifelong Democrat, joined the Alston & Bird law firm in 1983 becoming its first black woman partner in 1990. She concentrated on public and project finance, and she chaired the firm’s public finance group, and she also served on the firm’s management committee.
This is not the first time Mason has been part of President Barack Obama’s administration. Mason worked on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign as a member of its national finance committee, raising funds in Georgia.
She left private practice in 2009 to serve as a Deputy Associate Attorney General from April 2009 to February 2012 when she returned to Alston & Bird. While she was with Alston & Bird, she worked out of the Atlanta, Durham and Washington, D.C. offices.
In her new role at the Office of Justice Programs, Mason will be working with an agency in the Department of Justice that provides economic, technological and research assistance to state and local governments, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. The office administers the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Mason is succeeding Laurie Robinson, who has served in that role since November 2009.
Mason was born in Amityville, N.Y. as one of four children. She earned her A.B. in Mathematics in 1979 at the University of North Carolina; and she earned a J.D. at the University of Michigan Law School in 1982. She was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1983.
Mason was a member of the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2001 to 2009, serving as vice chair, as chair of the Audit and Finance Committee and as a member of the Endowment and Investment Committees. She currently is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys.