Hon. Karen S. Adam

Part-time Professor of Practice; Curriculum Specialist for the Innovation for Justice (i4J) Program; Pima county Superior Court Judge (Ret.)

Judge Adam retired from the bench in November 2015 after 34 years of service as a Tucson City Court Magistrate, a Superior Court Commissioner, and a Superior Court Judge. She was the presiding judge of Pima County Juvenile Court from 2011-14.

Judge Adam is active in state and local efforts to improve access to justice and improve court outcomes for children and families. She is a member of the National Association of State Judicial Educators, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the Arizona and National Chapters of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and the Self-Represented Litigant Network. She is the sole judge member and immediate past president of the board of the Children’s Center for Law and Policy, and a consultant to Children and Family Futures and the National Drug Court Institute, working with Family Treatment Drug Court grants and programs. 

Judge Adam writes and lectures on juvenile and family law topics. Judge Adam has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law since 2017 and taught Procedural Law in the University of Arizona’s undergraduate law program at Ocean University in Qingdao, China. She serves as the curriculum specialist for the Innovation for Justice (i4J) Program at the College of Law and wrote the curriculum for the Licensed Legal Advocate Pilot Program which trained Domestic Violence advocates to provide limited legal advice and support to domestic violence survivors.

Judge Adam has served as faculty for the National Judicial College since 2007 and for twelve years, taught in the annual five- day Best Practices for Self-Represented Litigants course. She authored “The Price I Paid for Being a ‘Good Judge’”, about vicarious trauma in judging for the Judicial Edge, the National Judicial College e-newsletter. Judge Adam also co-authored Fifty Years of Judging Family Law:  the Cleavers Have Left the Building, which was published in the January 2013 issue of the Family Court Review.



Professor of Practice
Innovation for Justice