Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
St. Mary's College of Maryland, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Langley Residential Support Services, volunteer 2013 to present
Junior League of Washington, member 2011 to present
The Willard Association, Director 2010 to 2018
District of Columbia
Karen Blackistone Oaks has expert knowledge advising multifaceted, multimillion-dollar policy campaigns that incorporate a wide range of advocacy strategies. Over the past decade, she has developed a stellar reputation for working with clients to develop innovative legal strategies that complement their customized advocacy plans, including nationwide lobbying campaigns, grassroots and grass-tops advocacy, ballot measures, and candidate advocacy.
Karen has counseled high-profile advocacy groups, presidential campaigns, and multi-national corporations and she regularly advises trade associations and nonprofit organizations on a range of issues affecting their operations. Karen advises clients in the areas of campaign finance, elections, government ethics, and in the law of tax-exempt organizations. For example, she has developed legal compliance programs for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and trade associations undertaking advocacy campaigns encompassing lobbying, gifts to public officials, and campaign finance. She represents clients engaged in one of the most high-profile fifty-state lobbying efforts of the past five years
During election season, Karen prepares clients for election-day operations and post-election contingencies, and she has successfully represented candidates in post-election recounts and election contests. In 2004, Karen coordinated the Bush campaign’s legal operations across twenty states in preparation for nationwide election-day litigation contingency operations. In 2008, she was the principal legal counsel for one of the leading Republican presidential primary candidates, and she advised the campaign on general legal matters and a wide range of legal issues and post-election disputes.
Karen speaks about campaign law and ethics to clients, groups, and organizations. Past appearances have included the Leadership Institute and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
Karen lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and daughter. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and has volunteered with developmentally disabled adults since 2013.