CHICAGO (Sept. 6, 2022) – U.S. Soccer Federation Chief Legal Officer Karen Leetzow has earned Law360’s MVP in Sports & Betting Award and was named General Counsel of the Year as part of Corporate Counsel’s 2022 Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards.
The awards come after a year in which Leetzow played a key role in U.S. Soccer and the Women’s and Men’s National Team Unions agreeing to historic, first-of-their kind collective bargaining agreements that achieved true equal pay and set the global standard moving forward in international soccer. Leetzow and U.S. Soccer’s legal team also reached a landmark agreement with the USWNT to settle their Equal Pay lawsuit.
“We’re proud that Karen is being recognized among the most prominent lawyers in the industry,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said. “She has been an invaluable member of our leadership team both in terms of her work in our legal department as well as championing DEIB."
Law360’s MVP Awards are given to attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers by securing hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters and record-breaking deals.
Corporate Counsel’s 2022 Women, Influence and Power in Law awards are given to women who are leaders, business strategists, complex problem-solvers and great lawyers who demonstrate a personal dedication to the promotion of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in the legal industry. The award winners will be recognized at an awards dinner on Oct. 18 in Washington, D.C.
“I am so honored that U.S. Soccer trusted me to help solve some very complex and vexing issues,” Leetzow said. “I am grateful to my team, the National Team players and their union representatives for allowing me into the conversations and for working together to rebuild relationships and find a path forward. Receiving not one but two such amazing and prestigious awards is the culmination of two years of very hard work, and I am proud to have played a part in putting U.S. Soccer back on a positive path toward its very exciting future.”
Leetzow received her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in D.C., which was the first law school to be founded by women and the first to graduate an all-female class. She spent eight years working in government and private practice before venturing into the sports industry when she joined NASCAR in 1999, where she oversaw its trademark portfolio, sponsorship, licensing, litigation, and media over her 21-year career there while also becoming the first female General Counsel in the organization’s history. Leetzow joined U.S. Soccer as Chief Legal Officer in 2020.