Karen M.
Assistant Dean for Career Development and Part Time Professor of Practice
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Biographical Information

Karen M. Kowalski is the Assistant Dean for Career Development at the James E. Rogers College of Law. Asst. Dean Kowalski, a former practicing attorney, leads the Arizona Law Career Development Office ("CDO"), including a team of five career counselors and an administrative associate. She sets the priorities and strategy for the CDO, with a focus on optimizing services to meet the needs of students, recent graduates, experienced alumni, and employers. She's also a key member of the Arizona Law community, serving as Arizona Law's representative on the Pima County Bar Association Board of Directors.

A creative problem solver, Asst. Dean Kowalski's first three years in her role at the College of Law focused on innovating across the student and employer services spectrum, including managing a complete build out of CareerCAT, Arizona Law's job bank and recruiting system, as well as aligning counseling and employer outreach priorities to meet the objectives of the CDO. The CDO now hosts dozens of recruiting and career-advancing events each year, including formal interview programs across six cities, networking receptions, and professional development programs.

Asst. Dean Kowalski spends significant time identifying opportunities for the CDO to improve counseling resources, services, and partnering both internally and externally to deepen strategic relationships. In addition, she regularly counsels Arizona Law students and alumni in career development. Her sessions are spent working with candidates to develop their individual value propositions to prospective employers.

Asst. Dean Kowalski brings a business perspective to the CDO, rooting decision-making in data and on measureable results. Given the critical role of the widely-reported law school graduate employment statistics, she aligned priorities and resources to generate quality post-graduate employment opportunities for Arizona Law graduates. Her record now includes posting the lowest unemployment rate in Arizona Law's history of directly-comparable data.

Prior to joining Arizona Law, Asst. Dean Kowalski served as Managing Director in the Chicago office of the largest and oldest international legal search firm, Major, Lindsey & Africa, specializing in partner and lateral recruitment. She assisted several hundred candidates and prospective employers in making meaningful employment connections. Her job at Major, Lindsey & Africa required her to stay current with the ever-evolving legal marketplace by monitoring national and global business and hiring trends, which serves her well in keeping pace with the entry-level legal market.

A former partner at the international law firm of Winston & Strawn in Chicago specializing in tax law, Asst. Dean Kowalski is well-steeped in employer hiring considerations. She served for many years on Winston & Strawn's summer program committee and served as an annual on-campus interviewer on behalf of the firm.


LL.M. (Taxation)
Georgetown University Law Center
DePaul University College of Law

Order of the Coif

University of Illinois