Jefferson County District Attorney Monica Hall is all business when she is prosecuting a case, but she took time to show a softer side of her personality — and a surprising educational background — when she took part in the Watertown Daily Times’ weekly “10 Questions” segment.
Hall began her law career in Jefferson County in April of 2009, but said she had no intention of being a prosecutor when she started law school.
“I have a genetics degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison, along with a degree in communication arts,” she said. “I worked as a chemist for three years before I went to law school. I thought I was going to do patent or health law.”
Hall did a judicial internship in Waukesha County in her first summer and got advice from a judge to take on a prosecution project.
“I took his advice and interned at the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office my second summer,” she recalled. “I fell in love with the profession. I graduated from law school in December of 2005 and started working in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in January of 2006. I worked there until I transferred here. I was already living here, so the lack of commute was amazing. And the office is great, too.”
Hall, 43, was appointed district attorney in July of 2020. She grew up in Cedarburg. She is married to her husband Nathan and her son, Owen, is in sixth grade and Morgan is in fifth grade.
Here is how Hall fielded her “10 Questions.”
1. If you weren’t the DA in the county, what would you most likely be doing with your life to make a living?
“Still an assistant DA. If the question is actually what would I do if I wasn’t a prosecutor, I was actually a finalist for a job reviewing human subject research protocols in Madison.”
2. What are your top three favorite TV shows of all time and why?
“‘Friends,’ because I am a 90s kid and I love half-hour comedies. Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations,’ because it is a food and a travel show for out-of-the way places I may never get to visit. ‘The Orville,’ because It’s the best Star Trek series out there.”
3. What are your top three movies of all time and why?
“’The Princess Bride, because it has fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles. ‘Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail’ because I love British humor. ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ because I’m a Shakespeare buff.”
4. Who are some of your favorite musicians/bands and why?
Alanis Morrissett, because I love angry chicks with guitars; Pat McCurdy because he makes me laugh and is brave enough to say what needs to be said and AJR, because the songs are clever and have an interesting, fresh sound.”
5. What three persons in history would you most like to meet and why?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg to thank her. She is representative of the women of her generation who laid the groundwork for the women of my generation to be able to be lawyers. Julia Child, because she is so fascinating and sweet. I would love to have tea with her – after making the food alongside her. I would make sure we had to crack eggs. I love how she breaks them one-handed. The Founding Fathers, so I could update them on the progress of their experiment.”
6. What hobbies do you enjoy?
Scrapbooking, gaming, camping, canoeing, wine making.
7. Do you work out? If so, what’s the regimen?
“I Jazzercize. I try to get there at least twice a week. ... I’ve been terrible lately.”
8. What are some of your favorite foods and are you foodie, good cook?
I am a huge foodie. I cook almost every night. You’d have to ask my family and friends if I’m good. I do mess up sometimes, but most of my food seems to get eaten.
I love pasta – any kind. I also love foods from other cultures. I am not picky at all, just don’t feed me a stuffed green pepper or fermented soy beans.
9. When you just want to take a short trip on a weekend, where do you like to go?
“When it is not COVID-19 outside, the Dells, Lake Geneva, Cedarburg, where I’m a tourist in my own town, Spring Green, Door County and any of the state parks. My family and I are working on camping at all of the state parks.”
10. What are your favorite world travel destinations?
“Japan, because one of my husband’s best childhood friends lives there, so we get a different perspective. Norway — the only place in the world that I think rivals Wisconsin in its beauty. Germany and I’d like to go back during Octoberfest. Italy, where I’ve never been, but I’d love to go.”