Peoples, 28, began her duties Aug. 17, succeeding Camille Henson. One of three assistants to Byrd, the new prosecutor is handling misdemeanor cases and cases involving Child Protective Services.
A May 2012 graduate of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Peoples did contractual work for the Carrollton office of Thomson Reuters from May 2013 until last June. She would receive projects from law firms and mostly did electronic discovery work, which is known as “e-discovery” and involves receiving evidence by computer, she said.
She also did family law work in Dallas for two years through the Dallas volunteer attorney program and handled some family cases individually on her own.
A native of Dallas, where she grew up and graduated from Dallas Skyline High School, Peoples received a bachelor of arts degree in public relations from Baylor University in December 2008. She minored in political science.
While attending Baylor, and in the interim before attending law school, she was a part-time bank teller for Wells Fargo, first in Waco and then in Dallas. She took the Texas bar examination in February 2013, and was notified that May that she had passed, she said.
While attending law school, Peoples said, she was a legal intern in the child abuse division of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, which made her interested in becoming a prosecutor.
Peoples, whose first name is pronounced “uh-lena,” said she wrote “I’m going to be a lawyer” when she was in the second grade. “No one in my family is an attorney,” and “(I) don’t know where I got the idea from,” but “I always kind of knew I wanted to be” a lawyer, she said in an interview Thursday.
Peoples also said her desire to be an attorney resulted because she “wanted to help people.” In addition, “I like the investigative part, the research part.”
She said she learned of the job opening in Upshur County from the Texas District and County Attorneys Association’s website.
Peoples is the daughter of Maggie Peoples, a teacher in the Dallas Independent School District, and said she has no known relatives in Upshur County. Now living in Longview, the new prosecutor said she is an “avid reader,” mostly of fiction.