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Our Attorney Mediator

About Karen Russell

Photo of San Jose Family Mediation Lawyer Karen Drury Russell

Our focus is to help you understand the legal system and the law as it relates to your particular situation. Karen Russell is here to guide you through the process and let YOU make the important decisions that will affect the rest of your life as well as the life of your family. You can read Karen’s Divorce Story and her story of Grief and Loss elsewhere on this site. But if you are into CVs, here are the highlights (her real CV is 4 pages long!):

Education and Training

  • B.A. in Political Science from the
  • University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Paralegal Certificate from the University of Santa Clara Institute for Paralegal Education
  • Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University
  • Admitted to practice law in 1984
  • Santa Clara County Family Law Attorney
  • Take and teach courses in interest-based negotiation and collaboration every year since 1997

Career Points

  • Karen Russell began mediating over 30 years ago as an appointed counsel for children. She often worked with parents who did not have lawyers and helped them work together for the benefit of their children.
  • Karen is considered a pioneer in the area of collaboration.
  • Karen was a litigator in high conflict custody cases early in her career, so she knows the pain divorce causes children.

Teaching Experience

  • Karen teaches collaborative practice skills and techniques to other attorneys.
  • She has co-written, developed and taught one of the first courses in Collaborative Law in the U.S. at Santa Clara University Law School.
  • Karen has also guest lectured both at Santa Clara and Lincoln Law schools.

Helping the Courts

  • Karen Russell was the project manager, administrator and coordinator for the young Children’s Settlement Team project in Santa Clara County Family court. The teams work with parents over the course of one year to help them develop a parenting plan while also demonstrating communication and co-parenting skills.
  • Karen was the initial project development assistant for the Santa Clara County Pro Bono Settlement Project for the Superior Court. She assisted with program structure and administration. She also developed the initial training for the volunteers and headed the initial training team.

Awards, Honors and Accolades

  • Recipient of the Eureka Award presented by Collaborative Practice California for dedication to the advancement and progress of collaboration in California
  • One of six founders of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • An early member and leader of the organization now known as Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley (
  • Recipient of the Bryl R. Salsman award presented by the Santa Clara County Bar Association for contributions to the community worthy of special merit

Past and Present Professional Memberships

  • State Bar of California
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • ProVisors (a networking community}
  • Rotary Club of Campbell

Hobbies and Interests

  • Karen’s hobbies include sailing, cooking, hockey, hiking and crafts.
  • Karen is a former member of Sweet Adelines International and Mission Valley women’s barbershop chorus.
  • Karen is a member of the Rotary Club of Campbell
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