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Karen K. Caldwell

2007 Hall of Fame Inductee

Class of 1980

A jurist of distinction, Karen K. Caldwell is United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Judge Caldwell graduated with the Class of 1980, which included one of the largest percentages of female graduates at that point in the law school’s history. After seven years with State Farm Insurance, she became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Kentucky and within five years was appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky where she was widely recognized for her role in combating public corruption. Prior to her appointment to the bench in 2001, she was a partner in the law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP. 

Before taking the bench, Judge Caldwell served as Chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Publication Committee the editor of Bench & Bar Magazine and a member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners. Judge Caldwell serves on the Board of Directors of Leadership Kentucky and Transylvania University’s Board of Trustees. 

In 1995, Judge Caldwell received Kentucky’s Outstanding Lawyer Award from the Kentucky Bar Association. In 2005, she was awarded an honorary degree from Transylvania University and in 2007, she received the Outstanding Alumnus of Kentucky Award from the Kentucky Counsel on Post Secondary Education and the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education.