Karen A. Popp is a partner with international law firm Sidley Austin, where she is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and global co-chair of the White Collar group. She has an expansive practice in corporate criminal defense, internal investigations, corporate compliance, and commercial litigation. Popp previously served as Associate White House Counsel to President Clinton; in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice; as a federal prosecutor in New York; as a Wall Street litigator; and as clerk to the Honorable Sam J. Ervin III, United States Court of Appeals Judge.
While a student at UNC Charlotte, Popp was student body president and the first woman in the UNC System to be elected to that position. Popp’s achievements were recognized with the Alumni Merit Scholarship, the Bonnie Cone Award for most outstanding student, and the University’s Humanitarian and Woman of the Year awards. Popp was inducted into the campus leadership fraternity (now Omicron Delta Kappa) and Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. She was also founder and president of the University’s Honor Society (now Phi Kappa Phi) and the founder of the UNC Charlotte Alumni Ambassador Program.
After graduation, Popp attended Oxford University on a scholarship. She later graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina School of Law and was elected a member of the Order of the Coif.
Popp is a frequent speaker at national conferences and has been a legal commentator on CNN, Fox News and NPR. She has also written and consulted on books, articles, and the TV show The West Wing. Ms. Popp has been an instructor on legal topics at two universities and she is Chair of the Chancellor’s Scholars Committee at the University of North Carolina School of Law, a Board member of the Law School’s Alumni Association, and a member of the Board of the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise.