Karen Hainer

Karen Hainer advocates for the rights of individuals who find themselves in a legal system that is often confusing and impersonal.  She became a lawyer after a career in federal law enforcement that emphasized public service, volunteerism, and academic honors.

Karen Hainer organized the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s congressional and public reporting program. She was an editor for the first Inspector General for Tax Administration of the U.S. Treasury and for the President’s Commission on Organized Crime. Karen was an investigator for the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Organized Crime, where her work was featured at congressional hearings as well as on 60 Minutes and in the Washington Post.

Karen is a graduate of the David A. Clarke School of Law of the University of the District of Columbia.  As an advocate in the law school’s Community Development Legal Clinic, she helped negotiate a $250,000 settlement on behalf of D.C. housing clients against a corporate developer. She was a judicial intern at D.C. Superior Court and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.

Karen holds a Masters Degree in German Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the American University School of International Service. She was awarded a fellowship to research the education of Turkish migrant children in Germany.  Karen has spearheaded many community fund raising projects, most recently for Equal Justice Works, in Alexandria, Arlington, and Washington, D.C.

Karen is married to Gerald A. Schwartz, a personal injury attorney who is a well-known practitioner and former president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. They are parents to three grown, amazing children.

Karen Hainer


703 596 0234

Professional Memberships

  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys