Three Questions with Phyllis Karasov


Tell us about something that has shaped your career?

When I was in law school, I wanted to work for a government agency rather than a law firm.  I applied to a variety of local, state, and federal agencies.  The agency I found to be the most interesting was the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  As an NLRB attorney, I investigated unfair labor practice charges and tried cases prosecuting employers and labor unions who violated the National Labor Relations Act.  That experience taught me skills that still serve me well today.  I learned that the best way to convince a government agency of your client’s position is to be honest and forthright, so that the investigator trusts you.  I also learned how to investigate a charge, and the importance of asking questions and pushing witnesses to provide a complete answer, not just the answer they want to give.  These skills have made me a persistent attorney, who asks the right questions to effectively represent my clients.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

As a labor and employment attorney, I get to learn about the industries and culture of my clients.  I need to have a deep understanding of a client’s employment philosophy in order to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.  I need to appreciate a client’s priorities and human resources philosophy to effectively advise them on the employee relations issues for which they are asking assistance.  Most of all, I enjoy getting to know my clients as people, developing relationships so that clients feel comfortable bringing their legal problems to me, and they trust my advice.   I have worked for many clients for a long time and have developed personal and business relationships which have enriched my life.

What interesting career path did you take to becoming an attorney?

I was a history major in college.  I enjoyed studying the social history and political environment of the period I was learning about.  I loved selecting a hypothesis about a subject and collecting information and facts to support (or not support) my hypothesis.  I thought I would go to graduate school in a Ph.D. program, since I appreciated the intense study and writing necessary to be a historian.  However, my uncle, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jake Dim, pushed me to consider law.  He argued that all of the things I loved about history would make me an excellent attorney.  I decided to take his advice and go to law school.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made.


Phyllis Karasov advises employers on the many statutes, regulations and laws that govern human resources.  She provides advice within the context of each employer, their industry, their human resources philosophy, and common sense.  She represents employers in front of government agencies, applying the principles she learned while working for the NLRB.  She also investigates employee misconduct and claims under Title IX.