Kate Birenbaum joined BakerRipley in July 2017 as General Counsel and Vice President of Governance. In her role, Kate provides legal counsel to all departments and divisions of the Agency on various matters. She identifies, assesses and minimizes legal risks, conducts trainings, develops policies, and interfaces with outside counsel as needed. Kate oversees the Agency’s Compliance & Quality Assurance Department, and works closely with its People & Culture Department to support all aspects of the employee lifecycle. She additionally serves as a liaison to the Board for the Agency on governance and compliance matters, and supports a number of Board committees.
Prior to joining BakerRipley, Kate practiced law for nearly 25 years, primarily representing employers in their relationships with their employees. She was recognized by Texas Monthly Magazine as a “Super Lawyer” in the area of “Employment Litigation: Defense” every year from 2012-2019. Kate has written articles for use by management on current employment topics, and spoken around the state at legal education seminars and other programs to educate attorneys, human resources professionals, and executives on various employment law issues. She served on her law firm’s Pro Bono Committee, where she worked with various local non-profit organizations such as Tahirih Justice Center, Kids In Need of Defense, and Catholic Charities to coordinate representation. In her practice Kate represented a number of individuals pro bono, including undocumented women seeking asylum after fleeing gang-related persecution and persecution based on sexual orientation in their home countries.
Kate is a native Houstonian. She graduated from Smith College with a major in psychology and a minor in psycholinguistics. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. She is married and has three children. Her volunteer work has included serving on the Board of Advisors for Dress For Success Houston, and volunteering at the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, the Houston Area Women’s Center and the Houston Food Bank.