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Karen Michelle Berntson

Employment and labor Attorney at San Francisco, CA

5.0   7 reviews
  • Licensed for 24 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1999
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Karen

Learn Karen’s areas of practice.

Practice areas

Berntson Law specializes in employment and labor matters. For nearly 15 years, I have advised working professionals on the decisions that matter most—like negotiating salary, employee benefits, and severance agreements/packages.


Working either behind-the-scenes or at the negotiating table, I have built a reputation for finding creative solutions that help working professionals to make smart decisions about their futures. My goal is to resolve matters informally through negotiation, mediation or, if necessary, to help clients decide whether litigation is necessary to protect their rights and professional reputations.


I also provide advice and counsel to small business clients on human resource and compliance issues, and handle business transaction matters.



Berntson Law
1 Sansome Street
Suite 3500
San Francisco, CA, 94104

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5.0 / 5.0
  7 customer reviews
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Posted by Debra | July 11, 2013
Exceptional Attorney
I was dealing with a series of complex issues as I am launching a new business venture. Not only was Ms. Berntson able to provide me with outstanding legal advice, but was also able to see the various issues from a practical business perspective making sure I was protected in every scenario. I highly recommend Karen Berntson. She is professional, proactive and extremely knowledgeable.
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Posted by Jeanie | June 25, 2013
A Pleasure to work with.
Ms. Bernston was a sincere pleasure to work with. I found her to be extremely helpful and responsive to my needs. We communicated often and I was very comfortable talking with her. She was professional, yet very friendly. Her ability to put me at ease over something I was really concerned about was greatly appreciated. I felt she covered everything I needed in a truly short amount of time and I was more than satisfied with the end results. I would highly recommend her.
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Posted by James | May 14, 2013
An Excellent Trusted Advisor
Karen Berntson is one of the most straightforward and proactive attorneys I have ever worked with. She was able to quickly synthesize the key facts in my employment related case, and more importantly, identify a number of key issues I hadn't considered. I always felt like I was working with a partner as opposed to someone just "handling" my case, which can make all the difference in final resolution. I would work with Ms. Berntson again in an instant, and I highly recommend her if you need an attorney.
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Posted by anonymous | August 21, 2009
Exceptional Attorney
I contacted Karen Bernston regarding an employment issues I was having earlier this year. She was professional and got back to me right away. Karen was able to explain my options in layman’s terms and to educate me regarding the law so that I was able to make the appropriate decisions. Karen was knowledgeable, thorough and ethical. I was very pleased with the services she provided and would not hesitate to use her in the future. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking an attorney.
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Posted by John | August 18, 2009
Berntson Testimonial
Ms. Berntson has counseled me on unemployment law for the past 2 years. Ms. Berntson's knowledge of the relevant case law, issues, and findings are very impressive. Ms. Berntson's honesty, work ethic, integrity, and dedication to client service should be quality traits that all clients look for in an attorney. Ms. Berntson's tireless efforts and aggressiveness should not be overlooked. Without Ms. Berntson's services, my case would have fallen apart from the onset.
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Posted by Casey | August 17, 2009
My experience
Karen handle my case with excellent professionalism and the case ended most satisfyingly.
Posted by Jon | August 17, 2009
Excellent, trustworthy, responsive and great to work with.
Karen is thorough, knowledgeable and honest. She also doesn't overcharge, which is a breath of fresh air in my dealings with lawyers. I have 100% confidence in her work and recommend her very highly.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 350-400 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.1 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Berntson Law
  • 2005 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Davis & Reno, LLP
  • 2002 - 2005
  • Attorney
  • DeMory & Grigg, P.C.
  • 2001 - 2001
  • Associate
  • Bell Rosenberg & Hughes, LLP (now Stockton Kilpatrick & Townsend, LLP)
  • 1999 - 2001
View all work experience


  • U of San Francisco SOL
  • law
  • N/A
  • Univ of California Santa Cruz
  • undergraduate
  • N/A


  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • N/A
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • N/A
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member, Education Committee
  • N/A

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • CALI Award for Excellence in Products Liability
  • CALI
  • 1998


  • Bender's California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • Recent Developments in California Law on Mandatory Tip-Pooling
  • 2009

Speaking Engagements

  • Social Media Experience
  • Moderator, Taking a Good, Long Look: Investigation via Social Media & Tricky Business: Privacy as a Sword and a Shield
  • 2011
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (7)
Endorse Karen
Employment and labor Attorney | Jun 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have consulted with Karen on employment issues and have found her to be passionate, knowledgeable, dedicated and to the point. In my experience, Karen is a tremendous advocate who is not only whip-smart but also has an amazing way with people."
Employment and labor Attorney | Jan 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Karen is a diligent lawyer who is dedicated to her clients. I have worked with her and observed what a fine legal mind she has. I originally met her through the California Employment Lawyers Association. She has made contributions to that organization as well."
Employment and labor Attorney | Aug 02
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have worked with Karen on numerous legal matters and observed her work on a variety of other cases over a period of many years. She is extremely intelligent, a very good attorney, and she genuinely cares about her clients. She's the opposite of the negative stereotype about lawyers. If I needed a lawyer, Karen would be one of the first people I would think of, and I'd be grateful to have her represent me."
Employment and labor Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Karen for years through California Employment Lawyers Assn and more recently worked closely with her in organizing a CELA seminar. Karen exemplifies all the qualities of a top notch trial lawyer. She's organized, passionate, dedicated, and a leader. I respect her and believe her clients are lucky to have an advocate like her in their corner."
Employment and labor Attorney | Sep 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Karen Berntson for several years through our mutual membership and activities in the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). She and I have worked closely on organizing educational programs for CELA. I have been greatly impressed by Ms. Berntson's wide and detailed knowledge of the law as well as her common-sense approach. She is dedicated to her clients and her profressioon. I am proud to be one of Ms. Bernston's colleagues."
Employment and labor Attorney | Aug 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Karen is both a professional colleague and a friend. She and I have worked together on a matter and I have referred clients to her as well. Karen is a bright, detail-minded and knowledgeable lawyer who is unusually skilled at dealing with other people. I unreservedly recommend and endorse her."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Employment and labor
Employment and labor
Employment and labor
Employment and labor
Employment and labor

Avvo Contributions

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San Francisco Employment and labor Lawyer Karen Michelle Berntson
Karen Michelle Berntson
Employment and labor Attorney
San Francisco, CA
Licensed for 24 years
Free Consultation