SFSC Welcomes Pamela T. Karlson
Pamela T. Karlson never thought she would return to South Florida State College to represent the District Board of Trustees as an attorney when she received her Associate in Arts degree from SFSC in 1989.
As a Highlands County native and SFSC alumnus, she takes great pride in the college and its service to the community. “It’s kind of like things have come full circle for me,” Karlson said. “SFSC has been a stepping stone to everything I’ve accomplished.”
Karlson was the first student in Highlands County to graduate simultaneously with her high school diploma from Lake Placid High School, and her Associate in Arts degree from South Florida State College.
“Dr. Robert L. Fitzgerald, Jr., dean, arts and sciences, came to my high school graduation in June, and as I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma, they allowed a couple more steps and had Dr. Fitzgerald from SFSC to present me with my Associate in Arts degree,” Karlson said.
After graduating from SFSC, Karlson transferred to Stetson University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in social sciences. She then proceeded to Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor in 1994.
Karlson returned to her home town of Lake Placid in 1999 and she opened Karlson Law Group, P.A. with offices in Lake Placid and Sebring, and has been practicing ever since. She practices primarily in the areas of real estate law, estate planning, probate law, corporate law, and land use and planning. In 2011, Karlson’s Law Group, P.A. was awarded “Best Law Firm in Highlands County” by the Lake Placid Journal.
Karlson is a volunteer mentor for Take Stock in Children, a non-profit organization that helps low-income children with mentoring and scholarships to a college or a vocational school. The SFSC Foundation, Inc. serves as the lead agency for Take Stock in Children in its service area of DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties.
Aside from being a lawyer, Karlson stays active in the community by volunteering and joining various professional clubs. Her community involvement includes Highlands County Code Enforcement, special magistrate; Highlands County Bar Association, member; Leadership Highlands Class, 2004 graduate and vice president; Attorney’s Title Fund Services, attorney member; First Presbyterian Church, member, trustee, and small group leader; Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, member and past president; Cub Scout Pack #426, cub master; Ag Venture, volunteer; and Justice Teaching, volunteer.
“In SFSC’s presidential search, Mrs. Karlson will be involved with developing and legally preparing the new contract,” said Glenn Little, vice president for administrative services. Contract drafting, review, revision, negotiation, and execution are integral parts of this task.
“What a compliment it is to be chosen to serve the SFSC board of trustees,” Karlson said. “SFSC is a wonderful institution, and I feel privileged.”
“I’m looking forward to the growth and expansion of programs and services here at SFSC,” Karlson said.
As a representative of the SFSC trustees, Karlson must attend all meetings and have the flexibility to be available to meet/discuss college business. On an as needed basis, she answers and interprets any law or regulation questions to insure the college is acting in accordance with the Florida Sunshine Law.
Annually, Karlson is required to give a presentation on any new regulations or laws affecting the Florida Sunshine Law, Florida Statutes, and contract/agreement development. SFSC attorneys are appointed annually by the SFSC trustees. Karlson replaces the late Andrew Jackson.
“I look forward to many years of serving the college in this capacity and helping to continue the record of excellence the college has established,” Karlson said. “SFSC is embarking on a whole new era of college education and to be on the forefront of that is exciting.”