Karen Alexander, J.D.

Professor of Sociology and Social Work (Criminal Justice)

Karen Alexander is a practicing attorney by day and has been teaching evening classes as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at PLNU since 2013.  She began her legal career as a public defender, where she represented more than 500 indigent defendants in federal criminal prosecutions ranging from drug trafficking to immigration crimes to firearms offenses.  In 2015, she joined the San Diego office of a top national law firm and now defends corporate and individual clients in white collar criminal prosecutions and a variety of civil cases.  She is passionate about helping her students realize their potential as agents of change in the American criminal justice system.


  • B.A., Political Science, Yale University
  • J.D., New York University School of Law

Courses Taught

  • Constitutional Foundations of Criminal Justice – SOC410
  • Criminal Law – SOC409

Experience in Field

  • Trial Attorney, Duane Morris LLP, 2015 – present
  • Judicial Clerkship, Southern District Court of California, 2014 – 2015
  • Public Defender, Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., 2009 – 2014

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Care Team Director, Harbor City Church, 2012 – present
  • American Welsh Inn of Court, 2014 – 2016

Awards and Honors

  • Vanderbilt Medal for Substantial Contributions to the Law School - NYU School of Law, 2009