Karen Clanton is a seasoned writer and project manager who shapes messaging and internal communications strategy for an AmLaw 50 firm and has led complex editorial projects spotlighting diversity in the legal profession.  As Director of Internal Communications at Perkins Coie, she oversees the firm’s intranet and counsels headquarters departments on strategic communications. 

Ms. Clanton earned the Perkins Coie Award of Excellence for her role in transforming the intranet into a socially engaging site, which features timely, high-quality reporting of firm news, while fostering community and engagement through interactive features.  Her team develops and executes comprehensive strategic communications plans for significant initiatives in Technology, Human Resources and Finance.  Ms. Clanton was responsible for executive messaging when the firm elected a new Managing Partner for the first time in nearly 30 years. 

Ms. Clanton began her career in legal publishing writing for research publications focused on federal securities law.  She became Managing Editor for the product line featuring content of stock exchanges and self-regulatory organizations. As Managing Editor, she led an editorial and production team, managed licensing agreements, interfaced with marketing and sales teams and reported financial performance to senior management.  During her tenure, Ms. Clanton earned certification in the company’s project management program and was honored with an Excellence in Action award.

Ms. Clanton has led and contributed to multi-faceted editorial projects focused on the legal profession. She edited a compilation of essays penned by diverse women attorneys offering inspiration and advice that was published by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2000.  Titled Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Words of Wisdom from Multicultural Women Attorneys Who’ve Been There and Done That , the book generated forums and panel discussions around the country.  Ms. Clanton documented the oral history of The Honorable Ilana Diamond Rovner of the Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals as a trained Interviewer for the ABA Women Trailblazers in the Law Project.  Ms. Clanton was a contributing author and copy editor for Bar None, a publication and exhibit sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) and the Chicago Public Library to share the story of Illinois' first generation of women lawyers. Ms. Clanton has also served on the editorial boards of the CBA Record, Business Law Today and Perspectives magazines. 

Ms. Clanton is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has served on the Board of Managers for the CBA and on the Board of Directors for the Public Interest Law Initiative. She chaired the ABA Multicultural Women Attorneys Network from 1999 to 2001 and co-chaired the CBA Alliance for Women in 2001.

A native of Rochester, New York, Ms. Clanton received her B.A. from Georgetown University, studied Literature for one year at King’s College, University of London and received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.