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Department of Political Science and International Relations

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Karen Figueroa-Clewett

Lecturer – Agents of Change

Karen Figueroa-Clewett is a civil rights attorney who graduated first in her class at Trinity Law School. She served as editor-in-chief of the law review, and was awarded “Law Student of the Year” at the finish of her 3L year. Karen was first prompted to pursue law during her first year of college when she learned about the financial obstacles that prevent many litigants from obtaining justice. In the pursuit of her goal to practice law, she joined the USC Trial Advocacy Program, where she excelled at trial advocacy and was hired as a Teaching Assistant. As a member of the Program, Karen volunteered with Public Counsel as a rights advocate for persons who were at risk for, or facing, homelessness as well as for persons with disabilities in need of essential resources.

After graduating magna cum laude from USC and before entering law school, she gained more experience in the civil rights field as a legal assistant at Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP and as a case worker at Orange Law Offices, P.C. As a civil rights case worker, she helped defend Title 1 school children who were at risk of losing many of their learning spaces to a charter school takeover.

Karen also worked as a legal writer/case briefer at the Los Angeles Daily Journal, where she wrote legal case briefs for daily publication to attorneys and judges state-wide. In law school, she spent the summer of her 2L year as a religious rights legal assistant where she helped draft appellate level briefs.

Karen is the Program Manager of the USC Dornsife Agents of Change: Civil Rights Advocacy Initiative, the nation’s first undergraduate civil rights clinic.