Clemes, Karen M.
General Counsel
BA 211k
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Last Updated: 10/24/18 -

Karen Clemes joined UVU April 1, 2015 as its first General Counsel.  She earned her juris doctor at California Western School of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude, first in her class. She completed both her master’s degree in humanities and bachelor’s degree in comparative literature at BYU.  After her law school graduation, she worked as a law clerk for Judge David Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

She has extensive legal experience, most recently as Associate General Counsel for She has also been Of Counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP, a national law firm, and was Director of the HR Legal Division and Chief Standards (Ethics) Officer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For nearly a decade she was an associate and then partner at the California law firm Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP (now Dentons US), where she litigated employment and business cases and provided state and federal labor and employment law counsel to a variety of clients, including several universities. Karen has conducted hundreds of workplace investigations and has trained many HR professionals and other attorneys on how to conduct effective investigations. 

In addition to practicing law, Karen has been an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, where she thas taught employment law, and has previously taught at San Diego State University, Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, and Mesa College in San Diego, CA.

Karen is the immediate past international chair of the Women in the Law Committee for the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. In 2011 she received the Association of Corporate Counsel Mountain West Chapter’s “Outstanding New Corporate Counsel” Award.