Allister Adel always knew she wanted to be a prosecutor. And there was one job, in particular, that she desired above all others.
“I had always said that if the stars aligned, and my dream job of county attorney came open, that I had to try,” said Adel, a 2004 graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
The stars began to align when Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in September. A month later, the dream job was Adel’s when the county Board of Supervisors chose her to serve out the remainder of Montgomery’s term.
And with the selection, Adel was added to Arizona’s long list of trailblazing women, as she became the first female county attorney in the history of the state’s most populous county.
“On a personal level, this hasn’t quite hit me yet, the historic nature of it,” she said. “People tell me how historic it is and amazing, and I’m just taking it all in. At the same time, I understand the responsibility that comes with this job, and I want to work hard and make everyone proud. The fact that I’m the first woman in this position is humbling, but I am going to prove that gender is not the barrier here. I want to be an example for young women that demonstrates you can work hard and achieve your goals and be a wife, a mother, a community member. This responsibility is not lost on me.”
ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester knows she is up to the task.
“From her time at ASU Law, Allister has always been a driven leader with a keen sense of justice,” he said. “She is perfectly suited not only to lead the Maricopa County attorney’s office, but also to serve as a role model for others, and ASU Law could not be more proud to count her among our esteemed alumni.”