Karissa Hurst Freano grew up in Ventura County, California and currently lives there with her husband, Brian. Karissa earned both her Juris Doctor degree and M.A. in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2013. During law school, Karissa participated in many competitions as part of the interschool Moot Court team and served as Moot Court Board Chair. Karissa was awarded Champion of both the Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition as well as the Pepperdine University Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Competition. Upon graduation, she was selected as a member of the Order of the Barristers, an American honor society for graduating students who demonstrate outstanding ability in oral advocacy.
Prior to starting Pacific Coast Adoptions Attorneys, Karissa first worked in insurance defense for a Fortune 100 company, defending claims made against policyholders. She has also worked as a Sponsored Programs Officer in University compliance, obtaining and monitoring federal research grants for compliance with sponsor regulations. During law school Karissa served as an anti-human trafficking intern at a nonprofit organization in India, clerked for the major crimes division of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, and spent one summer as a law clerk for the nation’s largest pro bono law firm.
Karissa is passionate about building families through adoption and embryo donation. She considers it a joy to walk beside her prospective adoptive families as they navigate the process of growing their families through adoption, embryo donation, and the foster care system.