Supervising Development Manager
Office: Los Angeles
Kathy Khommarath is, by trade, an immigrants’ rights attorney working with nonprofit organizations to develop, support, and help improve legal services programs, but currently serves as part of the development team at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), which advocates for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees while advancing racial, social and economic justice. Before her role at CIPC, Kathy was the RepresentLA Program Manager at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), where she managed the design and implementation for the RepresentLA program to fund both defensive
and affirmative immigration legal services at nonprofit law firms throughout Los Angeles County.
In 2018, Kathy became the Staff Attorney and Program Manager for the Southwestern Law School Pro Bono Removal Defense Program, which is part of a Los Angeles Justice Fund collaborative called the Removal Defense Corps (RDC), with the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. RDC’s mission is to empower attorneys and the communities they serve to fight for justice in removal proceedings. RDC places removal (deportation) cases with pro bono attorneys, trains pro bono attorneys in various aspects of removal practice, and provides
experienced mentors for the pro bono attorneys as they navigate their cases. Kathy is now on the advisory committee for the SWLaw Pro Bono Removal Defense Program.
In addition to her role in the Pro Bono Removal Defense Program, Kat was also an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School, co-teaching their Removal Defense Clinic with Professor Julia Vazquez. The Removal Defense Clinic taught and trained law students to represent real life clients in removal proceedings before the immigration court, with a trauma-informed lens. Students completed various aspects of their cases, including anything from interviewing clients and drafting declarations, to legal research and writing.
Prior to working at Southwestern, Kat was a staff attorney at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), representing undocumented youth and their families in their affirmative and defensive immigration proceedings. She was admitted to practice in the California Bar and the U.S. Central District of California in December 2012.
She has served on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Thai American Bar Association, and the National Lawyers Guild – Los Angeles Chapter. She currently serves as a member of the NLG-LA Immigration Committee Steering Committee. She has been an active member of the Civil Rights and Community Service Committee of the Mexican American Bar Association.
Kat obtained her J.D. at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, CA. During law school, she was an intern in the Impact Litigation Unit of the then-Asian Pacific American Legal Center, engaging in legal research and writing on various civil rights matters. She also volunteered regularly with the Immigration and Citizenship Project at the Legal Center. As a rising 3L, Kathy served as a judicial extern in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
She was the President of the Public Interest Law Committee at Southwestern Law School and served on the boards of Southwestern’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and the Southwestern Law School Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Prior to attending law school, Kathy was the Community Organizer for API Equality-LA, an organization that tirelessly advocates in the Greater Los Angeles API Community for the fair treatment of LGBT people and marriage equality. She is also a past steering committee member of API Equality-LA. She earned her B.A. in Political Science with Minors in Asian and Pacific Studies and Asian
Pacific American Studies at Loyola Marymount University.