PICKENS — Karen Sanchez Roper, attorney and founding partner of Roper Law Firm in Pickens, has been elected to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Family Court, Pickens County, Seat 4.
Roper is the first woman to be appointed by the General Assembly as a resident judge for Pickens County. She will succeed the Honorable Alvin D. Johnson, who will retire June 30 after 20 years’ service on the bench.
“I am delighted to have this opportunity to serve my community,” said Roper. “I am humbled by the trust placed in me by the General Assembly, particularly the members of our local delegation, and will work diligently to ensure the Family Court continues to support and encourage our families.”
Upon assuming her duties on the bench, Roper will cease to be a member of the firm and leave the practice of law. As judge, Roper will preside over cases primarily in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, covering Pickens and Greenville counties, but will also hear cases throughout the state as assigned by South Carolina Court Administration.
The Family Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving domestic relationships and decides cases concerning marriage, divorce, separation, custody, visitation rights, termination of parental rights, adoption, support, alimony, division of marital property, name changes, and juvenile matters.
Judicial candidates are screened through the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and undergo a law examination, interviews with the South Carolina Bar and the Upstate Citizen’s Committee, and a public hearing before the Commission. After qualification and nomination, judges are elected by members of the South Carolina General Assembly.
A native of Valdosta, Ga., Roper received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and her law degree from the University of South Carolina. She established Roper Law Firm in 1997, with a focus on family law litigation.
Her husband, attorney Ken Roper, joined the firm in 2001. In addition to her legal work, Karen Roper has served in various leadership roles with numerous civic organizations in the Pickens community, including the Cannon Memorial Foundation Board, Leadership Pickens County, First Steps, Prevent Child Abuse, and the Pickens Women’s Association.
In 2014, Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Roper to the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Board.
Karen and Ken Roper are the parents of two sons, Carson and Hampton, who attend Pickens High School. She and her family are members of Pickens Presbyterian Church, where she is an Elder and Trustee.