Hanover, MD (September 19, 2017) — Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world's leading legal search firm, today announced it has placed Karen Jensen Petrulakis in the newly created position of General Counsel (GC) at Wellesley College in Boston, Massachusetts. As Wellesley College's first GC, Karen will serve as the principal legal officer for the College with overall responsibility for the vision and leadership of the College's legal strategy. Reporting to the President, Dr. Paula A. Johnson, Karen will provide legal advice and counsel to the President, Board of Trustees, and other members of the College community on a broad range of legal matters. The national search was led by Paul Williams, Ronald Ciardiello and Heather Fine of Major, Lindsey & Africa.
Karen was previously Chief Deputy General Counsel at the Regents of the University of California, a $28.5 billion enterprise with 10 campuses, five major medical centers and three national laboratories. Karen assisted in managing the office of the General Counsel, which has 108 attorneys, including 62 lawyers in the system-wide offices in Oakland, 28 attorneys resident at the campuses, 11 lawyers located at the medical centers and seven lawyers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Karen began her career at the University in 2011 and was promoted several times into increasingly responsible roles.
Prior to joining the University, Karen was a partner in Crowell & Moring's San Francisco office and a member of the Litigation Group as well as the firm's Labor and Employment Group. She represented universities and municipalities as well as private companies in a wide range of industries. At her previous law firm, Folger Levin & Kahn, Karen served at various times as chair of the recruiting committee, chair of the business development committee, chair of the associates' development committee, co-chair of the women partners' group and chair of the sexual harassment committee.
"In this new role as general counsel, Karen has an excellent opportunity to serve as a trusted advisor on the senior leadership team of one of the most prominent colleges in the country," said Paul Williams, Partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa."She has previously consulted on the most politically sensitive and highest visibility legal, compliance and governance issues and has advised on legal strategy across all practice areas. She has also been a key participant in legal operations management, including budget and strategic planning and reporting on outside legal expense and settlement costs – the ideal mix of leadership skills and legal experience for Wellesley."
Karen graduated from Stanford Law School, and earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a regular speaker on litigation-related topics at legal conferences.
About Wellesley College
Wellesley College has long been recognized as one of the finest colleges in the country. Since its founding in 1875 by Henry and Pauline Durant, the College has remained true to its mission and offers an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Wellesley enrolls more than 2,300 academically talented women from diverse racial, ethnic, geographic and economic backgrounds. Students hail from 87 countries, all 50 U.S. states, and Washington, D.C. The College earns exceptionally high marks for its rigor in academics and recruits and retains professors who are both proven scholars and outstanding teachers. Wellesley's 362 full- and part-time faculty members make for a 1:7 faculty to student ratio. For more information, please go to www.wellesley.edu.
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