As Public Counsel’s Director of Litigation, Kathryn leads and directs Public Counsel’s impact litigation across its eight legal projects, promoting a coordinated approach to high-quality impact litigation across the organization. Prior to her role as Director of Litigation, Kathryn was the Supervising Senior Attorney in Public Counsel’s Opportunity Under Law project, where she developed, led, and supervised complex impact litigation to advance economic and racial justice.
Kathryn has litigated major cases in the areas of education equity, children’s rights, gender discrimination, criminalization of poverty, immigrants’ rights, housing and homelessness, and the rights of low-wage workers. She has particular expertise in litigation and advocacy to reform education, child welfare, and other systems to address the needs of children impacted by trauma. In 2019, she received a California Lawyer of the Year award for her appellate advocacy in People v. Duenas, a landmark California Court of Appeal opinion establishing that courts may not impose mandatory court fees on indigent criminal defendants.
In addition to her work at Public Counsel, Kathryn teaches in the Appellate Litigation Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, where she has previously taught education equity and gender discrimination law. She is a frequent speaker on education equity and economic justice issues, and her work has been covered by national and local news media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and PBS News Hour.
Kathyrn is Vice President of the Board of Library Commissioners of the City of Los Angeles and serves on the board of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. She was previously appointed to the Commission for Community and Family Services, advising the City of Los Angeles on issues of poverty and the needs of children, youth, and their families.
Prior to joining Public Counsel, Kathryn worked for the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and as a law clerk for Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.