Karen DeSoto, humanitarian, advocate, activist is an on-air legal analyst for NBC News, having also appeared on Court TV, CNN Headline News, Fox News, ABC News and MSNBC, among others. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Institute For Dispute Resolution — at the business school of New Jersey City University (Jersey City, NJ) where she is a visiting professor.
An alumni of Rutgers University, and The Beasley School of Law (Temple University) where she received a Juris Doctorate and Masters of Law Degree in Trial Advocacy, Karen DeSoto has been a career attorney. She began as a public defender (Somerset NJ), served as a prosecutor (Hunterdon County, NJ), and as a lawyer in private practice before founding The Center For Justice located in Jersey City, NJ
Karen DeSoto also served as the Assistant Corporation Counsel for the city of Jersey City, until in 2001 she was promoted to Corporate Counsel; appointed by the late mayor (and Senator) Glenn D. Cunningham — where she served until his death in 2004. Managing a large legal department in that role she advised nine department directors on all legal matters.
Karen DeSoto — Humanitarian, Advocate, Activist
A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Karen DeSoto has devoted her time and energies to her community as well; as a mentor, activist and vocal advocate focused on civil rights, workplace discrimination rights, election and criminal law.
For her efforts she was selected Attorney of the year at the 50th Annual Puerto Rican Heritage Festival and Parade in 2010, and Humanitarian of the year by the city of Bayonne Youth Center. The Jersey City Chapter of the NAACP honored Karen DeSoto in 2015, along with Senator Sandra Cunningham, Frank Schillari, the sheriff of Hudson County, and fellow attorney Irwin Rosen, Patricia Bryant, associate superintendent of Jersey City public schools, Nathaniel Legay, pastor of Metropolitan Zion AME Church for their contributions to the betterment of the community
She was highlighted in Hispanics on the Move in the October 2011 issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine in the list of people making a difference. Karen 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).
Serving on the boards of many foundations, she is also active as a speaker at local community and college events, and offers her legal expertise and time pro bono for local causes and cases dealing with employment equality.