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Shareholder Karoline Carstens joined the firm in 2006 as an associate and handles a large case load for the asbestos and mesothelioma litigation team. Each case is marked by her personal investment in clients and dedication to thorough work.
Karoline served as an intern at the McLean County, IL State’s Attorney’s Office and a legal assistant at Robert Half Legal before joining the firm. From 2006 to 2008 she worked in the Class Action Department prosecuting consumer class action, Qui Tam, and pharmaceutical cases. As a shareholder in the Asbestos Litigation Department, she has assisted in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for her clients. Karoline works on cases from beginning to end, staying involved in every step of the process from initial meetings with clients through discovery and deposition to preparation for trial.
A lifelong desire to help others drives Karoline to know each client on a personal level, gaining insight into the specific needs and wishes of everyone she represents. “I try to provide the level of involvement and service my clients want. It’s all about communication and getting to know your clients—these factors play an important role in the case outcome and client satisfaction.”
Karoline also recognizes and affirms the important role of a client’s family in the process, explaining that through the rigors of a deposition and lawsuit, “knowing their effort can make a difference for their families is often what keeps clients going.” Many individuals and families stay in touch with her long after a case concludes.
She earned her B.S. in sociology from Illinois Wesleyan University and her J.D. from Northern Illinois University, where she was the vice president of the Amnesty International NIU Chapter, a four-year recipient of the Wesleyan Academic Scholarship, a participant in Moot Court, a member of Delta Theta Phi, and a regular on the Dean’s List.
Karoline maintains memberships with the Illinois State Bar Association, Madison County Bar Association, Alton/Wood River Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Tri-City Bar Association, American Association for Justice, The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and the National Association of Women Lawyers. She is licensed to practice in Illinois, Missouri, and the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois.
Karoline contributes to the Illinois State Bar Association in several ways, sitting on the Young Lawyer Division Section Council and procuring sponsorships to benefit the Children’s Assistance Fund. As a liaison for the Law Student Committee, she works with Northern Illinois University College of Law and St. Louis University College of Law to recruit students into ISBA membership. Additionally, she recently joined the Taskforce on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.
Her 2014 article “The Inside Scoop on Dep Prep to Get You Through Your First Deposition,” was published in YLDNews and again in the “Best Newsletters” column of the Illinois Bar Journal. In addition, she presented “Careers in Litigation” to the Southern Illinois University College of Law Pre-Law Program in 2013.
Her belief in giving back to the community has led her down many service paths. “From a young age, I knew I wanted to help people for a living,” Karoline says, “and I truly enjoy helping clients find solutions and resolution to difficult life circumstances.” She’s a founding member of the Young Friends of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, where she acts as chair of the annual CLE Committee. She also facilitated Simmons Hanly Conroy in setting up a pro bono program associated with the Madison County Pro Bono Guardian Ad Litem Program and the John Marshall Law School Veteran’s Legal Support Center Pro Bono Attorney Network. This garnered her the Veterans Pro Bono Service Award in 2009 from the Supreme Court of Illinois and John Marshall Law School.
Spare hours are spent volunteering her legal advice services in the Madison County Legal Advice Clinic. She also provided legal advice to veterans in need through two St. Louis Stand Downs. Her work helped the firm receive the John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award in 2008.
Karoline’s number one goal remains personalized service to her clients. “My clients are often going through the worst experience of their lives because irresponsible companies exposed innocent people to deadly asbestos products. I make every effort to get to know my client, develop trust, treat them with respect, and provide the best outcome possible,” she says, adding, “I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding job.”
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