Leader of North American intellectual property team of lawyers for BASF
‘You can always learn more’
Karen Ware believes it’s always good to keep an open mind and that you can always learn more. That would explain why she holds an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, a JD, an MBA, and is currently pursuing an online Master of Laws (LLM) in Dispute Resolution degree at Pepperdine. Over the years, working as an in-house lawyer for large corporations, she became more interested in mediation and arbitration, and felt she needed additional education in those areas.
“While I was aware of all these things and had touchpoints about all of these dispute resolution mechanisms, I definitely needed to learn more substantively as well as the emotional aspect of it, too.”
A forward-looking approach to dispute resolution
In her current role, Karen heads up a team of intellectual property lawyers. She has noticed a shift from a lot of IP litigation to more arbitration, and she would like to see more mediation that isn’t court-mandated. This forward-thinking approach is what drew her to the LLM program.
“There’s got to be a better way than just spending tens of millions of dollars on these litigation matters. Some of them could come to a better outcome sooner without spending as much money.”
Attracted by Pepperdine’s reputation and values
To Karen, the LLM program at Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law stood out from other online programs because of the school’s mission and values. In her legal career she has been confronted many times with people and companies that are cutthroat and push back against making legal and/or ethical choices.
“On top of rankings and reputation, I really loved what the school stands for. I wanted a place where they value ethics and value the right way to do things.”
Shaking up the status quo
Her classmates in the LLM program come from all sorts of backgrounds, fields, and countries. They include lawyers, non-lawyers, and people of all different ages. For Karen, who has been in the same job for almost 10 years, it’s been eye-opening to see other ways of thinking and doing.
“I think it’s valuable to be exposed to that diverse network often. I think it helps us all be better.”