Karen M. Clemes

Karen Clemes

Karen M. Clemes
General Counsel

Practice Areas: Athletics, Benefits, Compliance, Constitutional Law, Corporate Governance, Disability Law, Employment Law, Faculty Matters, Government Relations, GRAMA, Litigation Management, Media Relations, Policy Review, Risk Management, Student Matters, Title IX/Equal Opportunity

A member of President's Cabinet, Karen Clemes was appointed as UVU’s first General Counsel in April 2015. Karen is responsible for the management of legal affairs for the University, including providing legal guidance to the Cabinet, President’s Council, the Board of Trustees, and all university departments and colleges. Karen regularly provides legal counsel on the full spectrum of legal issues facing a large public university. In addition to leading the University’s legal team, she oversees the University’s Compliance and Risk Management Departments. Karen is licensed to practice law in Utah and California.


  • California Western School of Law, J.D.

    Summa Cum Laude
    California Western Law Review and International Law Journal
    , Editor

  • Brigham Young University, M.A., Humanities
  • Brigham Young University, B.A., Comparative Literature

    Cum Laude


  • J. Reuben Clark Law School, Provo, UT, Adjunct Professor, Employment Law
  • Ancestry, Provo, UT, Associate General Counsel
  • Ballard Spahr LLP, Salt Lake City, UT, Of Counsel
  • Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT, Chief Standards (Compliance) Officer and Senior Director HR Legal
  • Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP, San Diego, CA, Associate and then Partner
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, San Diego, CA, Law Clerk to the Hon. David R. Thompson
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, San Diego, CA, Intern to the Hon. Rudi M. Brewster
  • San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, Adjunct Professor, HR and the Law
  • Palomar College, San Marcos, CA, Adjunct Professor, Humanities
  • Mesa College, San Diego, CA, Adjunct Professor, English


Professional Associations and Awards

  • Utah’s Legal Elite Award (In-House Counsel), 2018 and 2019
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • Past Chair, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, International Women in Law Committee
  • Past Chair, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, San Diego Chapter
  • Outstanding New Corporate Counsel Award, Association of Corporate Counsel, Mountain West Chapter
  • Past Vice Chair, Partnerships with Industry