2021 40 Under 40 award recipient: Erin Lane

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Erin Lane. Courtesy 616 Media

Erin Lane, 37

Assistant U.S. Attorney

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Michigan

Erin Lane has dedicated her life to enforcing the law and being a champion of justice throughout the world.

Her career as an attorney has spanned far and wide, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras and Michigan. Lane worked 10 years for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Lane collaborated with Afghani justice professionals to implement a nationwide rule of law program that trained hundreds of prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges to promote progressive justice reforms in the country.

She allocated grant funding to a Congolese doctor who provided health care to survivors of sexual assault. While in Honduras, she helped her Honduran co-workers design programs to reduce homicide rates in the city of San Pedro Sula.

Lane said while she was there, San Pedro Sula was known as the murder capital of the world, but its reputation changed as she and her team worked to reduce homicides by 85% in the city.

When Lane returned to Michigan in 2019, she became an assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. Since then, she has successfully prosecuted individuals who have committed such crimes as drug trafficking, arson, bank robberies and illegal use of weapons.

“I am a native Grand Rapidian,” she said. “I am dedicated to implementing all the lessons that I learned during my years overseas to promote community resiliency, justice and peace in this community that I love.”

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