Karen L. Karr


Office: 515-242-2424

Fax: 515-323-8524

Email: karen.karr@brownwinick.com


As a real estate attorney, I can advise you on all real estate matters, but specialize in commercial real estate development projects and real estate matters unique to large, complex business transactions.   I represent a wide-range of clients, including, buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, owner’s representatives, developers, and contractors.  In doing so, I can offer an “insider’s view” of the other side to the transaction and workable solutions.   With my corporate background, I recognize and appreciate the interplay of business and real estate risks, and use this to develop a holistic strategy that coordinates those risks for you.   I am a member of your team, who you can trust to support and protect you and your business.

My Approach

It’s not about me, it’s about you.   My approach is different based on each client and deal.  Ultimately, my job is to help you achieve a result that works for you.  I listen to what is important to you and, as I learn more, tailor the process to fit your needs and risk tolerance.  My legal training, industry experience, and attention to detail fill the gaps and allow me to identify and explain the risks to you.  This provides you with the tools necessary to make an informed business decision.  Your decisions give me the information necessary to mold the transaction to fit your needs.  I respect the investment you have made in your business, and want to help you find the best way to protect it.

More About Me

While I said this is about you . . .

I graduated, with distinction, from the University of Iowa, with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and Communications Studies, and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship in 2003.   In 2008, I received my J.D. from Drake University, graduating with honors, and was admitted to the Iowa bar.  Before law school, I worked in the private sector as a real estate agent.  This piqued my interest and started my real estate career.  Since then, my interest has grown.  Real estate development gives me an outlet to see results, make an impact, and be involved in the community.   All things that make me tick.

I am named as a Rising Star in Chambers USA® (2019) and Super Lawyers (2017-2019), and was selected for Best Lawyers (2018-2020), for real estate.  I am Co-Chair of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.

I am on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Operation Downtown and serve on the Polo on the Green Planning Committee for Variety Club of Iowa. I am also a member of the County and State Bar Associations.  Additionally, I am a member of the 2014-2015 class of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and a 2017 honoree of the Business Record’s Forty Under 40.     

Outside of work, I like to travel, cook, and support the Iowa Hawkeyes with my family and friends. 

My Specialties

  • Real Estate Law
  • Business and Corporate Law/M&A
  • Banking/Corporate Finance
  • Construction Law

Blog Posts

BrownWinick Attorney Karen Karr Named as Honoree to the 2017 Class of Forty Under 40

February 2, 2017 BrownWinick attorney Karen Karr was named to the Des Moines Business Record's 2017 Class of Forty Under 40 honorees. Forty under 40 class selection is based on achievements, leadership and Read…

Pro Bono Project for BrownWinick Attorneys, Karen Karr and Chris Sackett

July 28, 2016 BrownWinick attorneys, Karen Karr and Chris Sackett, represented A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS) on a pro bono basis, in negotiating a development agreement with the City of Des Read…


Emily Maier



University of Iowa

B.A., with distinction, Communication Studies; Journalism & Mass Communication, 2003


Drake University

J.D., with honors, 2008


Iowa, 2008

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member; Sections on: Business Law; Corporate Counsel; Real Estate and Title Law
    Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee (Young Lawyers Division)
  • American Bar Association
    Member; Sections on: Business Law; Real Property, Probate & Trust Law; Young Lawyers Division
  • Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys
  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
    Graduate Class of 2014-2015
  • Order of the Barristers, 2008
  • Delta Theta Phi