Karen Kithan Yau
Karen specializes in vindicating the rights of employees and workers and advising employers in promoting fairer and more productive workplaces. She has over two decades of legal experience working with employees, workers, and immigrants, including over nine years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Labor Bureau at the New York State Attorney General, where she led investigations into labor violations in numerous industries, including the agricultural, greengrocer, moving, restaurant, and taxi industries.
In addition, Karen has had varied law teaching and policy-related experiences. She was a recipient of a Skadden Fellowship at the National Employment Law Project and a Robert M. Cover Teaching Fellowship at Yale Law School and held an assistant professorship at Syracuse University College of Law. Karen also worked in management and leadership positions in not-for-profit policy and advocacy organizations.
Karen is active in bar associations and community organizations and sits on several boards of not-for-profit organizations. As a co-chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), she spearheads its Pro Bono Advice and Referral Clinic, a winner of the 2019 Bar Leaders Innovation Award that has served thousands of clients since its founding in December 2015, and she oversees AABANY’s ever-expanding pro bono activities. In addition to AABANY, Karen is also a member of National Employment Law Association – New York, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the New York City Bar Association.
Karen frequently conducts training, speaks, and writes on employment matters, Asian America, cross-cultural competencies, and immigrants’ rights. She was recently honored by the Chinese-American Planning Council – Brooklyn Community Services for her pro bono work and contributions to the Brooklyn community.
Karen received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and graduated from Stony Brook University and Brooklyn Technical High School. She is admitted in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. She emigrated from Hong Kong and speaks fluent Cantonese Chinese.