Kristen received her undergraduate degree in fashion design before moving to New York City and working as a designer for several years. In 2016, she became a board member for A Voice for the Innocent, a nonprofit community of support for victims of sexual abuse. The experience prompted a career change into public interest work. She attended law school at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where she worked for the Ohio Justice and Policy Center her first year, the Ohio Public Defender Death Penalty Unit her second year, and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem her third year. She joined Hamilton County Public Defender as a Municipal Attorney in 2021.