Katharine Chao

T  (415) 738-5352
F  (415) 233-4859
E  kathy@chaolegal.com

  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 2006
  • B.A., Sociology (with distinction), University of California, Berkeley, 1994
  • Judicial Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller, San Diego, CA, 2006-2007

Katharine Chao is the founder of Chao Legal and a fierce, unrelenting advocate for her clients. She practices all aspects of employment law on behalf of clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and has specialized in litigation her entire career. Ms. Chao also has experience litigating business disputes, real estate disputes, and personal injury matters. 

Ms. Chao is a native Californian, born and raised in Los Angeles. She has called the San Francisco Bay Area home since 1999. The first-born daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ms. Chao understands the effort and sacrifice that goes into every individual's world of work. Jobs are not just how we support ourselves; they are our identities and sources of pride. Everyone deserves a fair shot to excel at work. Ms. Chao devotes each day of her law practice to empowering clients facing legal uncertainty and vindicating the rights of individuals harmed by unlawful workplace practices.

During law school at the University of California, Berkeley, Ms. Chao served as Senior Articles Editor for the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law. Ms. Chao was also a student volunteer at the Asian Law Caucus Employment Law Clinic in San Francisco and a law clerk in the Welfare Advocacy and Policy Practice group at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) in Berkeley, California. At EBCLC Ms. Chao represented low-income individuals and their families in public benefit matters.

Following law school, Ms. Chao clerked for the Honorable Jeffrey T. Miller, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California, from 2006 to 2007. After completing her clerkship, Ms. Chao practiced complex commercial litigation in the San Francisco office of the global law firm Paul Hastings LLP and antitrust litigation at Nossaman LLP. In 2012, Ms. Chao founded her own law firm to serve the employment law needs of clients in the Bay Area.  

Before practicing law, Ms. Chao worked at major television networks in Los Angeles and New York, at a publicly-traded internet media company in San Francisco during the dot-com boom, and at a nonprofit art college in the East Bay. Through these experiences, Ms. Chao learned how to work with a diverse group of people from all kinds of backgrounds and circumstances.