Karen Hawkins

Golden Gate University
Attorney at Law

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Karen Hawkins is the immediate past chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation. Karen is also a past chair of the State Bar of California Section of Taxation, the ABA Taxation Subcommittee on Civil Penalties, and the IRS Liaison Meetings Committee. She served as a director on the council of the ABA tax section and as the section's vice chair of professional services, and she is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.
Karen is the founder of the San Francisco Pro Se/Pro Bono Tax Court project, and she played a key role in the successful efforts to reform the innocent spouse statutes in both federal and California law. Her honors include the V. Judson Klein and Joanne Garvey awards from the State Bar of California Section of Taxation in 2002 and 2012, respectively; the National Pro Bono Award from the ABA tax section and the Judith McKelvey Distinguished Alumna Award from Golden Gate University, both in 2004; and the Jules Ritholz Memorial Merit Award from the ABA tax section’s Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee in 2008. In 2012, Golden Gate University School of Law named its tax law library collection in Karen’s honor, and in May 2015, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree. In May, 2022, Karen was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the ABA Taxation Section.
Karen earned her JD and MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. She also holds a master’s in education from the University of California, Davis, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts. Karen has spoken and written extensively on all aspects of civil and criminal tax controversy issues and on ethics in tax practice.

About Us: Golden Gate University is a private, non-profit university in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1901, GGU specializes in educating professionals through its schools of law, business, taxation, and accounting.