Judge Karen Sanchez Roper was born in Valdosta, Georgia, in 1969. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Newnan B. Sanchez of Chiefland, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Georgia in 1991, where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and served as a Georgia Girl for the UGA Athletic Department. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1994. During law school, she was named as a finalist in the J. Woodrow Lewis Moot Court Competition and was one of four students to argue a contested case before the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Judge Roper is married to attorney Ken Roper, with whom she practiced law for over 15 years at Roper Law Firm, primarily handling domestic, probate, and local government matters. She was previously employed as an attorney with the firm of Laddaga, Crout, and Drachman, P.A., in Charleston. She has represented clients in both the upstate and lowcountry Family Courts through her various roles as private attorney, DSS prosecutor, defense counsel through the Office of Indigent Defense, Guardian ad Litem, and Certified Family Court Mediator. She also is admitted to practice before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court.
In addition to her professional activities, Judge Roper has a strong commitment to service in the Pickens community, particularly in areas concerning the well-being of children and families. She has served on boards for Pickens County First Steps, Prevent Child Abuse Pickens County, Cannon Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center. She is a graduate of Leadership Pickens County, a former member of the Liberty and Pickens Chambers of Commerce, and was previously nominated as Pickens County Businesswoman of the Year. Judge Roper is a member and past president of the Pickens Women’s Association. She and her family are members of Pickens Presbyterian Church, where she served as Clerk of the Session, and is currently an Elder and Trustee.
Judge Roper and her husband are the proud parents of two sons; one attending the University of South Carolina, and the other a student at Pickens High School. She and her family enjoy spending time together on Lake Keowee with their two rescue dogs, Sawyer and Scout.