Karen Yau

Art and Science of Interviewing Pro Bono Clients; Count Us All! Fighting Disenfranchisement of AAPIs in the 2020 Census

Karen Yau is currently Of Counsel to Kakalec Law, PLLC, a law firm that specializes in vindicating the rights of employees and workers when they are wrongfully fired, discriminated against, or have their wages stolen or withheld. Karen has over two decades of legal experience working with employees, workers, and immigrants. She served for over nine years as an Assistant Attorney General at the Labor Bureau of the New York State Attorney General and led investigations into labor violations in numerous industries, including the agricultural, greengrocer, moving, restaurant, and taxi industries. She was a recipient of a Skadden Fellowship at the National Employment Law Project and the Robert M. Cover Teaching Fellowship at Yale Law School and held an assistant professorship at Syracuse University

College of Law. Karen also worked in not-for-profit policy and advocacy organizations in management and leadership positions.

Karen is active in bar associations and community organizations. As a co-chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), she coordinates the Monthly Pro Bono Advice and Referral Clinic, which has served thousands of clients since December 2015. She also oversees AABANY’s ever-expanding pro bono activities. Karen frequently conducts training and speaks on employment matters, Asian America, cross-cultural competencies, and immigrants’ rights.

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.