Background & Education
Kristen is a Roanoke native, graduating from Northside High School in north Roanoke County. Thinking that a career in medicine would be the best way to help people and with a full Army ROTC scholarship in hand, Kristen chose to attend the University of Virginia. While a second-year student, Kristen stumbled upon a rhetoric class, loved it, and became interested in the law. Kristen graduated with high distinction from UVA with a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication Studies.
After managing a prominent Charlottesville restaurant, Kristen began her professional career in law in 1989 as a Communications Officer with the Charlottesville-Albemarle-UVA Emergency Operations Center. After a year in that position, Kristen accepted a position as a Police Officer with the Charlottesville Police Department, working first in the uniform division and then as a detective in the investigations division. While she worked as a DARE officer and as an evidence technician while she was a patrol officer, Kristen particularly enjoyed her work as a detective, which was focused on crimes against children, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Attending law school was the next logical step, and Kristen attended Washington and Lee University’s School of Law beginning in 1993.
After having been away from Roanoke for more than 14 years, Kristen decided to return home after graduating from W&L to practice law, joining the firm of Osterhoudt, Ferguson, Natt, Aheron & Agee, P.C. as its only associate in 1996. She quickly set to work practicing in the same general areas-criminal law, family law, children’s advocacy-in which she’d had extensive prior experience, as well as civil litigation and employment law. In recognition of her success, Kristen became a partner in the successor firm, OPN LAW, PLC in 2003. In the 25 years since, Kristen has gradually narrowed her practice focus to mostly family law matters, although still handling cases in related areas such as elder law and criminal law. Kristen has been certified by the state to represent children as a guardian ad litem since she passed the Bar, and also has served as court-appointed counsel in hundreds of felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile delinquency matters throughout her 25 year litigation career.
Becoming Part of Parks Zeigler
Wanting to take her practice to the next level in terms of serving her clients more effectively and efficiently, Kristen agreed to launch Parks Zeigler, PLLC’s Roanoke office as its managing partner. She is excited about what she and Parks Zeigler, PLLC can bring to residents of the Roanoke Valley and Southwestern Virginia in need of quality legal representation, particularly in family law matters.
Kristen has served on the Board of the local chapter of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association for the last three years and is the guardian ad litem representative on the Salem-Roanoke County Best Practices Court Improvement Team. She also has served for many years on the Board of the Children’s Trust of the Roanoke Valley, an umbrella organization which serves the needs of area abused and neglected children through many programs and services, such as the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and the local Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. Finally, Kristen serves as a community representative on the Roanoke County Schools Safety Committee for the last several years, assisting that school system with addressing emerging threats to student safety.
More About Kristen
When she is not practicing law, Kristen enjoys spending time with her husband and two grown children, as well as her Jack Russell Terriers, Katie Jane and Jack. She loves hiking, crosswords and history.