Karin Simonson took pre-med math and science courses at the University of Minnesota when her father unexpectedly fell ill with a serious heart-related condition.
Her father survived, but the experience left her searching for a different career. She chose law, graduated from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, magna cum laude, and began a career that eventually led back, ironically, to health care as an in-house counsel.
She began as a commercial litigator, then a corporate attorney for Carlson Hotels Worldwide before joining Medtronic in 2009 and focusing on medical device and heart valve technology. “I like the opportunity to help people and that’s why the medical device industry was attractive,” she said. “It gave me a chance to use my science background and legal skills to make a difference.”
Simonson moved to Coloplast in 2020 to serve as Senior Legal Counsel for the North America Chronic Care division focused on intimate health care products. She reviews sales, clinical, regulatory and quality issues, business contracts, marketing pieces and oversees legal aspects of a patient support program.
“There’s a lot of regulatory complexities to the medical device industry,” Simonson said. “I am helping stakeholders navigate those yet still help people. It’s very fulfilling.”
Being a corporate counsel involves constant learning. “I like the diverse aspects of my position,” she said. “The regulations are constantly changing and evolving, so it’s a great opportunity to learn, grow and have daily challenges.”
In the community, Simonson finds rewards volunteering for Children’s Law Center and the Minnesota Association of Corporate Counsel (MN ACC) chapter. She currently serves on the MN ACC board and was president from 2019 to 2021. Now, as education committee co-chair, Simonson said she likes “to give back to the community and the profession.”