Kathleen is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who represents plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes civil litigation, and who provides strategic counseling, including at the intersection of litigation and high-profile public policy.  Her practice spans commercial, regulatory and constitutional matters.  She has worked closely with industry and government leaders facing complex challenges involving litigation, policy, and politics. She also has significant pro bono and public-oriented litigation experience. In all of her representations, Kathleen brings a deep concern for the client and the client’s objectives, and the tireless effort needed to achieve those objectives.

Kathleen joins the firm after five years in the Obama Administration. Most recently, she was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where she oversaw the Federal Programs Branch, which represents the federal government in high-profile civil litigation.  At DOJ, she personally led and participated in many cases of national importance, including those involving the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, the President’s immigration initiatives, and the President’s assertion of Executive Privilege in the “Fast and Furious” litigation, arguing several such matters.  She supervised major cases involving the Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Defense, and the SEC, among others.  Prior to DOJ, Kathleen served as Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to President Obama, where she counseled the President and other officials on constitutional, regulatory, and oversight issues.

Before her government service, Kathleen was a co-founding partner of a Washington D.C. litigation boutique, where she litigated commercial disputes and represented nationwide classes of antitrust and consumer protection plaintiffs.  She previously litigated trial and appellate cases at the D.C. office of a national law firm, including a $1.4 billion fraud trial and significant constitutional and Supreme Court litigation.


Kathleen’s recent experience includes:

  • Assisting a major technology company with crisis management, counseling and potential litigation related to fast-moving public policy developments
  • Counseling a private equity firm concerning potential litigation
  • Representing a major technology company in copyright infringement and business tort litigation
  • Advising a major technology company on public policy and regulatory issues, and related litigation
  • While in government, leading the defense of constitutional and statutory challenges to the President’s assertion of Executive Privilege and immigration policies, and to federal actions affecting industry sectors including technology, financial (Dodd-Frank), health care (Affordable Care Act), and education
  • Past pro bono and public-oriented litigation experience while in the private sector includes advocacy for death row inmates, a criminal defendant, an immigrant facing deportation, absentee ballot voters, and a sexual assault victim

Publications & Presentations

The USTA Decisions and the Rise and Fall of Telephone Competition, COMMUNICATIONS LAWYER, Vol. 22, No. 2, Summer 2004 (co-author)

The Supreme Court, 1998 Term Leading Cases: Sutton v. United Air Lines & Murphy v. United Parcel Service, 113 HARV. L. REV. 337 (1999)

Developments The Law of Cyberspace, 112 HARV. L. REV. 1586 (1999)


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude;

    Treasurer, Harvard Law Review; Member of First-Place Team, Ames Moot Court Competition

  • Harvard College, A.B, magna cum laude, Government



  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Fifth Circuit

Government Service

Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel


  • Justice John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Hon. Merrick B. Garland, U.S. Court of Appeals: D.C. Circuit