Directors and Staff

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As the first Director of the Illinois Supreme Court’s MCLE Board, Karen works under the direction of the Court and the Board to administer the Court’s MCLE program. Her experience includes six years as DLA Piper’s National Director of Professional Development where she planned and managed the firm’s attorney education program for all of its U.S. offices. Before joining DLA Piper, Karen was a Litigation Partner with a mid-sized Chicago law firm, Much Shelist, P.C. She handled commercial disputes with a focus in employment and environmental matters, including trial and appellate work.


Ms. Johnson attended Cornell Law School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was 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. She also served as Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. During eight years in bar leadership, she planned dozens of CLE courses and organized many public and bar service projects. Ms. Johnson previously worked as a radio reporter and anchor in Madison, Wisconsin.

Richard Palmer began as Deputy Director of the MCLE Board of the Supreme Court of Illinois in July, 2006. Prior to his employment at the MCLE Board, Mr. Palmer was a Partner and Director of Professional Development at the Chicago law firm of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP, where he served as the firm's first Director of Professional Responsibility for seven years. Mr. Palmer created and administered the firm's professional development programs. As a Litigation Partner for 12 years, Mr. Palmer handled complex litigation matters representing primarily pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural products manufacturers.


Mr. Palmer received his Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law. After law school he served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Nicholas J. Bua of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


Mr. Palmer served as a Board Member and Vice Chair of the Membership Committee of the Professional Development Consortium (PDC). Mr. Palmer was also a founding member and Chair of the Chicago-Area Professional Development Consortium.

Angela Campbell, Project Specialist

Susan Doran, Administrative Assistant

Jeannine Emery, Project Specialist

Brian Gilhooly, Operations Analyst

Tina Larson, Accounting Administrator

Kevin Leonard, Social Media Specialist

Deirdre McCarthy, Project Specialist

Christina Pusemp, Manager - Attorney Compliance and Outreach
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