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Ms Karen Powell



Senior Lecturer - Tax and Clinical


Faculty of Business and Law


Deakin Law School


Melbourne Burwood Campus

+61 3 924 68839


Karen E. Powell is a Senior Lecturer of Tax and Clinical in Deakin Law School. Prior to Karen's academic appointment at Deakin Law School, she was appointed and served as the inaugural Forge Fellow in the Community Economic Development Law Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, a leader in experiential clinical education for lawyers. She has also taught at Ohio Northern University School of Law in the area of tax and business law. Her interest in teaching lies in developing a curriculum that provides both rigorous legal doctrinal training, as well as practical legal skills.  Karen has extensive training in various aspects of curriculum development in both lecture classes and experiential learning.

Before entry into academia, Karen was a practising attorney and litigator for over 15 years, including serving as an appointed tax judge, civil litigator, and executive manager for large regulatory institutions.  Appointed by the state Governor and confirmed by the Montana Senate, she served as Chairperson of the Montana Tax Appeal Board and managed state tax trials for over eight years. Having overseen hundreds of trials, and thousands of matters, her decisions have been consistently upheld by the Montana Supreme Court. She served as a substitute Justice of the Peace for Lewis and Clark County, and also served as an appointed Commissioner for the Uniform Law Commission; a national organization of appointed U.S. practising lawyers that promulgates a number of non-partisan, well-respected uniform laws including the Uniform Commercial Code, and international treaty recognition laws.  Prior to those appointments, Karen served as Montana’s Deputy Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, as well as litigating on behalf of the Montana Attorney General’s Office.

She is a certified mediator and has mediated civil cases on a pro bono basis for several years. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School and her B.A. from Wesleyan University.  She has been licensed to practice law in Montana, and the federal courts since 2001.

Karen is an entrepreneur as well as business attorney and litigator. She founded a successful craft distillery, which she built from the ground up and recently sold. She is also the co-owner of Blackstone Properties, a real estate company which owns, develops and manages substantial commercial and residential rental property.

In addition to a scholarly interest in teaching and learning within a law school context, Karen’s scholarly interests lie in analysing state, tribal and local regulatory and fiscal policy and its effects on emerging market structures.  She studies and writes on how legal doctrine, state tax structures and regulatory frameworks interact to shape an economic environment that either spurs or constricts certain highly regulated markets and its subsequent effect on consumer behaviour.

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Can Law Schools Provide Students With a Subversive Legal Education in an Online Learning Environment?

K Powell, Nicole Siller

(2022), pp. 103-126, Critical Legal Education as a Subversive Activity, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

Role and Effectiveness of ASIC Compared with the SEC: Shedding Light on Regulation and Enforcement in the United States and Australia

Zehra Kavame Eroglu, K Powell

(2020), Vol. 31, pp. 71-87, Journal of Banking and Finance Law and Practice, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Preventing Pension Double Taxation: The Treatment of Australian Superannuation Guarantee under the Existing Australia-US Tax Treaty

K Powell

(2020), Vol. 49, pp. 32-55, AUSTRALIAN TAX REVIEW, C1

journal article

Identifying exempt intangible assets in state property tax: urging stricter application of burden of proof

Karen Powell

(2020), Vol. 30, pp. 235-277, Cornell journal of law and public policy, Ithaca, N.Y., C1

journal article

Shifting digital currency definitions: Current considerations in Australian and US tax law

K Powell, M Hope

(2019), Vol. 16, pp. 594-619, eJournal of Tax Research, C1

journal article

Student evaluations of teaching: Am unlawful barrier to women's professional advancement in Australian Universities

Britt Tevis, Karen Powell

(2019), Vol. 37, pp. 1-38, Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal, Hempstead, N.Y., C1

journal article

Bridging the gap: a joint negotiation project crossing legal disciplines

K Powell, Lauren Bartlett

(2018), Vol. 2, pp. 182-209, Journal of experiential learning, Central Islip, N.Y., C1

journal article

How taxis, peanuts and assault rifles get you a martini for dinner: examining peanut quotas and taxi medallions in consideration of whether a fifth amendment takings claim is a red herring when eliminating alcohol license quota systems

K Powell

(2015), Vol. 13, pp. 433-477, Depaul Business and Commercial Law Journal, United States, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

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