It is rare to find a career-oriented person taking time out of their busy lives and working towards the community that they are a part of. Karen DeSoto is the living example; she never fails to contribute towards her community, while juggling a hectic career as an attorney, legal analyst for NBC News, a professor at New Jersey City University, and co-director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution. She often took on legal cases pro bono or on contingency to give legal voice to those who could not afford one.
A permanent resident of New Jersey, Karen DeSoto has expertise in the areas of criminal law, workplace discrimination, and election law. While she still practices law, she has also appeared on television since providing legal insights for some of the highest profile cases in the news. In 2013 she became an on-air legal for NBC News, thought she also appears on many other news channels.
Today she is very active as a professor at NJCU, and particularly at the university’s Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Her community thought remains close to her heart, and through the years she has been recognized for not only her talents – as the youngest person, first woman, and first Hispanic to ever serve as Chief Counsel for the city of Jersey City, appointed by the late Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham.
Her efforts have been noticed, appreciated and lauded by many. Some of the recognitions that she has received over the years include:
- She was selected as the Attorney of the year at the 50th Annual Puerto Rican Heritage Festival and Parade in 2010.
- She was also awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award, by the City of Bayonne Youth Center for her priceless charitable contributions.
- In the October 2011 Hispanics on the Move issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine, Karen was selected to their list of people making a difference.
- She was also called “a force to be reckoned with” in a 2012 article in The Hudson Reporter, where she was listed as one of the Most Influential People in Hudson County (NJ).
- In 2015, the Jersey City Chapter of the NAACP honored Karen DeSoto, along with other dignitaries for their contributions towards the betterment of the community.