Previously, Trautman worked for over three years as a resident senior fellow of criminal justice and civil liberties policy at the R Street Institute. In this role, he researched and wrote on a variety of criminal justice issues and provided expert advice and consultation to legislators, prosecuting attorneys, and other criminal justice stakeholders. Prior to his work at R Street, Trautman served as counsel for the Homeland Security Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lars began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Essex County, Massachusetts. In two and a half years as a prosecutor, he handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases, including conducting dozens of trials.

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