Katharine Louise Krause dedicated her legal career to improving lives of the poor in Southern California. At the time of her death from cancer in 1995 at the age of 47, she was serving as a Los Angeles Superior Court referee for juvenile court dependency matters and practicing law in the Los Angeles area. In the year before her death she completed a paper documenting the history and development of legal services on behalf of the AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Born in Washington, D.C., Ms. Krause graduated from Radcliffe College in 1969 and received an M.S in early childhood education from the Bank Street College of Education. She received her J.D. in 1975 from the University of Southern California Law Center, where she was an editor for the Southern California Law Review.
Upon receiving her law degree, Ms. Krause accepted a position as staff attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach, where she specialized in litigation involving housing and health law. In 1981 she was appointed Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, where she served for ten years. As Executive Director, she led a diverse staff of legal minds who made a substantial difference in the lives of people living in poverty in Los Angeles, focusing on civil legal services to indigents on matters involving housing, government benefits, health care, employment, immigration, family and consumer law issues.
Ms. Krause served on the Boards of many local organizations, including Inner City Law Center; the Women’s Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles; the Western Center on Law and Poverty; the California Legal Services Project Directors’ Association; and the East Los Angeles Health Task Force. She was also a member of the Kolts Commission, which examined excessive force charges against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Her work earned her the 1981 Nuestra Hermana award for her work on behalf of health care access; the Ernestine Stahlhut award from the Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles in 1987; the Norma Zarky Memorial Award from the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation in 1989 ; and the 1990 Loren Miller Legal Services Award from the State Bar of California. She also joined the faculty of Loyola Law School as an adjunct professor of law.