Karla Shirley-McHand grew up in Franklin Parish, Louisiana and graduated from Crowville High School in 1997. She attended college at Louisiana College and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She went on to received her Juris Doctor and her Bachelor of Civil Law from Louisiana State University School of Law in 2004. From 2001 to 2004, Karla worked as a law clerk at the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office in the Criminal Division; then, From 2004 until 2006, she clerked and practiced law with a number of private firms. In November 2006, she began working as an Assistant District Attorney for the Seventh Judicial District. She also has a small private practice where she has specialized in Real Estate Title since 2007. She is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Fifth & Seventh Judicial District Court Bar Association and the Louisiana District Attorney Association.