Kara D. Nottingham is a senior legal counsel with broad experience in international legal practice spanning both the public and private sector. While a student at William & Mary, Kara worked in the District of Columbia Superior Court and as a Summer Associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP. During her 3L year she studied abroad at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain in the International Legal Practice program.
Following graduation from William & Mary, Kara participated in Shearman & Sterling’s associate deferral program with International Bridges to Justice, a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland which promotes human rights and rule of law initiatives.
Kara then started her career as an Associate with Shearman & Sterling in Washington, DC, focusing on litigation and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations. While at Shearman & Sterling she participated in a secondment at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.
Kara then served as a Legal Officer for the United Nations Office at Geneva and World Intellectual Property Organization – a specialized agency of the United Nations. In these roles she acted as counsel for the organizations before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal. She also worked on investigations, alternative dispute resolution, and advised on policy matters. Following years of service in the United Nations, Kara transitioned back to the private sector, and worked as Legal Counsel for a multinational corporation in Switzerland. In this position, she advised on global regulatory policy, anti-corruption matters, and business and human rights initiatives. In 2021, Kara returned to the United Nations, taking on a new role as a Legal and Policy Advisor at UNAIDS.
Kara has a LLM in International Dispute Settlement from the Graduate Institute – University of Geneva, and is a member of the International Bar Association and International Association of Business Lawyers in Switzerland. She serves on the board of a UK-based non-governmental organization, Romildamor, whose mission is to pioneer against human trafficking and gender-based violence. In 2018 Kara was named in the Global Top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) under age 40, in honor of the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent and in recognition of her contributions to the legal profession.
"I truly believe that language skills are essential in our diverse profession, especially when working in an international environment. The ability to work and converse in Spanish and French has allowed me to gain work experience in different contexts and countries. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to further develop my language skills while in law school by participating in the study abroad program."