Katherine Atkinson
Partner*

202.765.2253 | katherine@wilkenfeldlaw.com

Katherine Atkinson litigates employment law cases and advises clients on employment law matters.  Dating back to her early work as a law student, she has devoted her practice to ending discrimination in the workplace.  Over the past ten years, she has successfully litigated cases involving every legal basis for discrimination.  Ms. Atkinson regularly practices before the federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and arbitrators.

In addition to advocating for employees, Ms. Atkinson advises employers on successful management practices, including how to avoid liabilities and amicably resolve complaints without protracted litigation.  Wilkenfeld, Herendeen & Atkinson co-founder Ari Wilkenfeld says “Most civil rights attorneys try to effectuate change by litigating one plaintiff’s case at a time, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But a new breed of civil rights attorneys is emerging that effectuate change not only by suing wrongdoers from the outside, but also by working with companies and organizations from the inside to help them stay on the right side of the civil right laws in the first place, before issues arise.  By working for both defendants and plaintiffs, Ms. Atkinson has not only valuable experience, but an especially dynamic appreciation of employment law practices.  Ms. Atkinson is at the forefront of this movement and works both sides of the problem better than anyone I know.”

Ms. Atkinson teaches employment law to fellow practitioners as an instructor for the Federal Employment Law Training Group (FELTG).  With FELTG, Ms. Atkinson teaches courses on legal writing, Equal Employment Opportunity counseling, charge-drafting, remedies, and substantive employment discrimination law such as sexual harassment and disability discrimination.  Previously, Ms. Atkinson taught legal writing and appellate advocacy to law students as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Prior to joining Wilkenfeld, Herendeen & Atkinson, Ms. Atkinson was a Senior Associate at The Law Offices of Gary M. Gilbert & Associates.  There, she chaired the Civil Litigation and Appellate Practice Group, overseeing the firm’s employment discrimination cases in federal court.

Ms. Atkinson earned a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law (WCL).  At WCL, Ms. Atkinson was a Dean’s Fellow, a Note and Comment Mentor on the Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law, and an Articles Editor on the Human Rights Brief.  She received a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University.

Ms. Atkinson is admitted to practice in the state of Maryland, before the United States District Courts for the District of Maryland and the District of Columbia, and before the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Fourth Circuit.  She is an active member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA).

In her spare time, Ms. Atkinson volunteers with The River School in Washington, D.C., which provides an inclusive educational experience for children with hearing loss by uniting the best practices of early childhood and oral deaf education.

*Licensed to practice in Maryland only.  Practicing under supervision of a DC-barred attorney.

I am lucky to be able to devote my professional life to a cause I am passionate about. I relish delving into complex legal issues and crafting nuanced arguments to educate a judge, jury, or employer about unlawful bias or a cutting-edge area of the law.

True workplace equality might seem like an impossible goal, but I believe it is incumbent on us to achieve it. At our firm, we build on the accomplishments of the generations before us and aim to pass our advocacy on to the next, having hopefully left the workplace more equitable than when we started.