- University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 2006
- University of California, Berkeley, 1994 B.A. in Sociology
Katharine Chao is a founding partner of Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP.
Prior to founding the firm, Kathy was the principal at Chao Legal in San Francisco and Oakland, where she practiced employment law exclusively on behalf of employees since 2012. Before starting her own firm, Kathy practiced as a defense attorney in the San Francisco offices of Paul Hastings LLP and Nossaman LLP. As a defense attorney, Kathy worked on complex commercial litigation, consumer class action defense, and civil and criminal antitrust matters.
Kathy is an active member of the legal community. She is the Board President of Open Door Legal, a San Francisco-based legal aid non-profit organization. Open Door Legal is pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to legal representation as a method for dramatically reducing poverty. She is an active member of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), where she serves on the Wage and Hour Committee. Kathy also has a significant pro bono practice, including ongoing participation as a volunteer attorney with the Federal Pro Bono Project of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
While in law school, Kathy was the Senior Articles Editor for the Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law and externed for the Hon. Edward M. Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. After law school, Kathy clerked for the Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
Among the honors she has received, Kathy has been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer for plaintiff-side employment litigation every year since 2018. She was also named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in 2015 and 2016. She is a frequent speaker on employment litigation on panels and conferences throughout California.
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