|Delaware County Prosecutor Carol Hamilton O’Brien provided plenty of hugs and high fives to encourage members of her gymnastics team during the recent Special Olympics Ohio 2013 State Summer Games held at The Ohio State University.
O’Brien has been involved with Special Olympics for 10 years, coaching an individual athlete through the Worthington Special Olympics Gymnastics Team and now as the head coach of the Delaware County team.
“It has been such a rewarding experience,” O’Brien said. “I get to step out of my role as prosecutor to be a mentor and a coach. It’s the best feeling in the world when an athlete completes her routine. It’s truly inspirational when you see the joy in her heart and the smile on her face.”
O’Brien’s legal career began in 1983 when she starting working at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) after graduating from the University of Toledo College of Law. She recalls one of her most rewarding experiences as a lawyer that happened while at ABLE: “I helped a woman whose husband had kidnapped her daughter. She hadn't seen her daughter in six years and we finally were able to secure an order requiring the father to return the child.”
A member of the Ohio State Bar Association, O’Brien recently became a Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation. She has served as a judge for the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s High School Mock Trial competition and as a board member of the Central Ohio YMCA. She is also involved with the Olentangy Relay for Life and the American Heart Association.
After having spent six years in the Delaware County prosecutor’s office, including seven months as the elected prosecutor, O’Brien still finds the work rewarding. “Behind every crime there is a victim,” she said. “If I can help that person resolve any of the issues that resulted from the crime, I feel some sense of justice has been done. I cannot make them whole, but maybe, as a prosecutor, I can help make their life a little better.”