Kate Manning has worked for the Law Foundation since 2007. She has experience representing children in family and probate court as well as individuals with physical and mental health disabilities. More recently, Kate's work has focused on securing residency for immigrant children who have crossed the U.S. border unaccompanied and who were abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents.
Kate received her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara and attended law school at City University of New York.
Why did you become a legal aid lawyer?
I was living in New York City after college and volunteering with CASA as a court-appointed special advocate. My role was to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. At the time I wanted to be a social worker. The experience made me realize how important legal aid lawyers are to foster youth and children involved in the child welfare system. The lawyers gave these kids a voice, and it became very clear to me that I wanted to be that voice.
What is most meaningful to you about this work?
Knowing we are helping kids feel safe. Some of the children I work with have been through such terrible things. They've been very badly abused by family or attacked by gang members. Whether we are giving them an opportunity to live permanently with a stable family member locally or as a legal immigrant in the U.S., we are providing them with a sense of safety they haven't experienced before. I feel really good about that.
What do you see as the greatest strength of the Law Foundation?
To be able to provide legal services for free to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to access legal services at all. It sounds so simple, but legal aid has the power to transform lives.
What TV shows are you binge-watching these days?
Stranger Things and Peaky Blinders
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
When I'm not working I'm usually driving my kids around. Otherwise I enjoy hanging out with my kids at the pool, hiking, backpacking and biking.