Karen Litscher Johnson
Ex Officio Commissioner
Karen Litscher Johnson serves as Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Board. Appointed in April 2006 as the Board’s first director, she works under the direction of the Court and the MCLE Board to administer the Court’s MCLE program.
Prior to her appointment as MCLE director, Ms. Johnson worked for six years as National Director of Professional Development for DLA Piper where she planned and managed the firm’s attorney education programs, including MCLE accreditation, for all of its U.S. offices. Before joining DLA Piper, Ms. Johnson was a Litigation Partner with the Chicago law firm of Much Shelist, P.C. There she handled commercial disputes with an emphasis on employment and environmental matters, including trial and appellate work. Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Johnson began her professional career as a radio reporter and anchor in Madison, Wisconsin.
Ms. Johnson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her juris doctor degree from Cornell Law School in New York. She is a founding member and chair of the Chicago-Area Professional Development Consortium, a group of attorney education professionals at law firms, government offices and bar associations. Johnson also served as chair of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (YLS). During eight years in bar leadership, she planned dozens of CLE courses and organized many public and bar service projects.
Karen Litscher Johnson is an ex officio member of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.