Karen L. Tokarz

Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service; Professor of African & African-American Studies
Director, Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program
Director, Civil Rights & Community Justice Clinic 


B.A., 1970, Webster University
J.D., 1976, St. Louis University
LL.M., 1985, University of California, Berkeley

Curriculum Vitae




Jamie Roggen - (314) 935-6432

Phone / Email

Phone:  (314) 935-6414
E-mail: tokarz@wulaw.wustl.edu 


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 584

Courses Taught

Mediation Theory & Practice
Employment/Civil Rights Mediation Theory & Practice
Civil Rights, Community Justice & Mediation Clinic
International Justice & Conflict Resolution Externship
Human Trafficking & Labor Migration Seminar
Comparative Employment Law Seminar
Public Interest Law & Policy Seminar
Employment Discrimination
Pretrial Practice & Settlement
Faculty Advisor for Washington University Journal of Law and PolicyNegotiation & Dispute Resolution Society, OUTLaw, American Consitution Society, and Africa Public Interest & Conflict Resolution Initiative 


Professor Karen Tokarz is an internationally recognized expert in dispute resolution and clinical legal education, and she has been named to Best Lawyers in Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution since 2010. Her scholarship addresses public interest law issues, including clinical legal education, dispute resolution, judicial selection, and elder law. Director of the law school’s Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program, she is past director of the school’s highly ranked Clinical Education Program. Professor Tokarz is a certified Neutral for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, and serves on the Missouri Supreme Court ADR Commission and on the U.S. District Court ADR Advisory Committee. In 2008–09, she was a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, based in the Program on Negotiation, and served on international dispute resolution as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal in South Africa, consulting.

Professor Tokarz is the founder of the law school's Global Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative. Over the past 14 years, she has coordinated field placements for more than 160 law students with legal aid offices, human rights organizations, and tribunals in South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Brazil, Chile, Panama, Cambodia, India, China, and Thailand. She also coordinates the law school’s Public Interest Law & Policy Speaker Series, now in its 18th year. Professor Tokarz is the recipient of several teaching and client advocacy awards, including Washington University’s Founders Day Distinguished Faculty Award, the Student Bar Assocation Experiential Professor of the Year, and the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) Instructor of the year.

  • In The News [view]
  • Africa Brochure [view]
  • Tokarz Named Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law and Public Service [view]
  • Photo Gallery of Installation [view

Representative Publications


  • ELDERLAW: ADVOCACY FOR THE AGING (2 vols.), with Joan Krauskopf, Robert Brown, and Alan Bogutz (Thomson West, 2nd ed. 1993, Supp. 1994-2015).

Book Chapters

  • “A Three-Year Curriculum that Engages Law Students and Prepares Them for Practice,” in Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Deborah Maranville, et al. ed., 2015)
  • "Sex Discrimination in Amateur and Professional Sports," in THE LAW OF PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR SPORTS (3 vols.) (Thompson West, 2nd ed. 2002, Supp. 2003-2015).
  • "Advancing Social Justice Through ADR and Clinical Legal Education in India, South Africa, and the United States," in THE GLOBAL CLINICAL MOVEMENT: EDUCATING LAWYERS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE (Oxford University Press, 2011) (with V. Nagaraj).

Recent Articles & Essays

  • A Ferguson Imperative: Eliminating Policing for Profit and Reconceptualizing Our Nation's Municipal Courts as Community Justice Centers, 51 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy __ (forthcoming).
  • Introduction: New Directions in Community Lawyering, Social Entrepreneurship & Dispute Resolution, 48 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 1 (2015) (with Geetha Rao Sant)
  • Introduction, New Directions in Global Dispute Resolution, 45 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 1 (2014) (with Leila Nadya Sadat).
  • Legal Education at a Crossroads: Innovation, Integration, and Pluralism Required! 43 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 11 (2013) (with Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Peggy Maisel, Robert Seibel).
  • Foreclosure Mediation Programs: A Crucial and Effective Response by States, Cities, and Courts to the Foreclosure Crisis, 59 The St. Louis Bar Journal 28 (2012) (with Kim Kirn and Justin Vail).
  • Introduction, New Directions in ADR and Negotiation, 39 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 1 (2012) (with Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff).