Rochelle Karr

Rochelle Karr

Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Alumni Relations 

Rochelle Karr is the firmwide Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) and Alumni Relations at O’Melveny. In her CSR role, she aligns and integrates the firm’s business strategy with its pro bono, philanthropic, veteran support, volunteerism, environmental sustainability, and scholarship initiatives. In her alumni role, she drives O’Melveny’s engagement with its global network of over 5,000 alumni. Prior to creating her current role at the firm, she practiced as a labor and employment associate, then as the firmwide Director of Professional Development at O’Melveny.

Ms. Karr is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall and has a degree in Mass Communications, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from UC Berkeley. She is a member of the Los Angeles Community Leaders Group and the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals. Her passions include soccer, snowboarding and racquetball and, most importantly, spending time with her husband, her four children, and three dogs.

ACCP Meets Rochelle Karr

How did you first hear about ACCP? Why did you join?

I heard about ACCP from Bronwen Begakis at Paul Hastings, and she advised that ACCP was the most intimate community of exclusively CSR professionals who do exactly what we do at companies. She promised it would be a forum for an exchange of ideas, best practices, and friendship. Rather than being purely academic, ACCP would offer practical advice and facilitate a deep network of CSR professionals grappling with the same challenges and sharing each other’s victories.
She was absolutely right, and I’m so glad we joined!

We know the route to becoming a CSR professional can be different for everyone. Can you briefly tell us how you ended up in the field?

CSR as a profession was quite organic and serendipitous at the same time. I was working full time as our head of professional development and alumni relations, and I had become very active with the American Heart Association and Orange County’s United Way. I ran into Amanda Fowler from Edwards at an AHA Go Red for Women meeting, and it was quite a reunion as the last time I’d seen her, we were playing soccer together as young girls. I had breakfast with Amanda (who had been a CSR professional for a long time) and picked her brain about how a law firm might set up a successful CSR program. She gave me a beautiful framework to think about.
After that, I met with my COO, pitched the idea to him, drafted an 18-page blueprint of what our program would look like, and we were off to the races. It is a source of pride to be one of the first law firms to truly embrace CSR and it’s exciting to see so many law firms now joining the effort. The rising tide floats all boats – at ACCP we share best CSR practices across law firms and it’s exciting to be a part of the evolution of CSR in the legal profession. We even started an ACCP industry group for Legal Professionals to have a forum for law firms and in-house legal department team members to share how we might work together on advancing our mutual CSR priorities.
It’s certainly an exciting (though challenging) time to be in this profession–and taking a strategic approach to CSR has never been more critical.

What is the last book you read (or are currently reading)?

How To Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success

What’s a favorite quote?

“You never know, unless you ask. The worst they can say is ‘No.’” – My Mom!

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