Former Board Chair at the YMCA of Greater Seattle, Kathleen O’Sullivan

Last updated: March 10, 2021, at 8:40 a.m. PT

Originally published: March 10, 2021, at 8:17 a.m. PT

Katie O'Sullivan Photo

It’s our honor to highlight a phenomenal woman and volunteer in the Y Movement, Kathleen ("Katie") O’Sullivan, who is a Partner and Executive Committee Chair at Perkins Coie and immediate past Board Chair at the YMCA of Greater Seattle.

With more than 20 years of distinguished practice of law, Ms. O’Sullivan has worked on a wide range of trial court cases and appeals. With a deep focus on representing Fortune 100 and other leading companies across industries in consumer class actions or other related cases pending across the country, Ms. O’Sullivan serves as a trusted advisor to achieve her client’s objectives. She has also worked on appeals across a broad spectrum of legal issues, including antitrust, contracts and business torts, ERISA, product labeling, privacy, and product liability. In all of her cases, as well as her leadership within the litigation practice, Ms. O’Sullivan has deeply invested in improving the quality of the firm’s written and oral advocacy.

As the chair of Perkins Coie’s Executive Committee, Ms. O’Sullivan leads the 16-member Executive Committee in its strategic, policymaking, and oversight functions, while working closely with the firm’s Management Committee. Prior to becoming chair of the firmwide Executive Committee, Ms. O’Sullivan served for three years as firmwide chair of Perkins Coie’s Litigation practice, leading a team of more than 250 lawyers in 16 U.S. offices.

While working on big cases for great companies, Ms. O’Sullivan has devoted thousands of hours to pro bono matters. She has volunteered her time to improve the legal profession having served on the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors (2003 – 2006), where she was the liaison to Washington Young Lawyers Division and Washington Women Lawyers and served as the chair of the HR/Personnel Committee. After serving on the Board of Governors, Ms. O’Sullivan served as a volunteer on Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct, an independent agency within the judicial branch of the State, consisting of citizens, lawyers, and judges, who review and act on complaints of judicial misconduct or disability. Its goal is to maintain confidence and integrity in the judicial system, preserving both judicial independence and public accountability. She chaired the Commission 2012 – 2014 and served as a commission member, 2007 - 2015. Ms. O’Sullivan currently serves on the American Law Institute Council and the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society board.

Ms. O’Sullivan currently serves as the immediate past Board Chair and an executive committee member for the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, where she has served since 2011. She served as Board Vice Chair 2015 – 2018, Board Chair 2018 - 2020 and fundraising campaign lead, fueling the Y’s mission and service to community. Under her leadership and tenure as Board Chair, the Seattle Y selected its first woman and first person of color to lead the organization in its 144-year history. With Ms. O’Sullivan’s leadership and support, the YMCA has extended its reach and impact in community, serving nearly 1 in 4 young people (~150,000) across King County and surrounding areas, emerging as a respected leader on issues of racial equity and justice, and pledging to become an anti-racist organization.

In 2020, Ms. O’Sullivan’s accomplishments were recognized by Legal Momentum (The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund) at their annual Women of Achievement Awards Dinner. With her distinguished practice of law and dedicated service to community, we are proud to have Katie O’Sullivan among the distinguished volunteer leaders in the Y Movement.