Before she chose to live, work and raise a family in New Jersey, Kim was born to Patricia and Charles McFadden in Waterloo, Iowa as the middle of five children. Because of her father’s job in sales, Kim lived in more than a dozen places before going to college.
Kim attended high school in Michigan and earned a political science degree from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. After graduating cum laude in 1983 from American University Washington College of Law, Kim took a job as a federal law clerk in New York City and later worked litigation cases at a private law firm.
In 1988, Kim joined the elite United States Organized Crime Strike Force started by former U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy to root out organized crime and illegal racketeering. She later rose to the position of an assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey in Newark, where she built a reputation as a tough and effective prosecutor for busting corrupt politicians. In fact, she was awarded the United States Department of Justice’s highest honor for her prosecutions of two separate corrupt public officials.
From 1999 to 2001, Kim served as assistant attorney general for the State of New Jersey responsible for statewide criminal investigations and oversight of 300 prosecutors and investigators.