Mary Kathryn was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but left as soon as she could. After attending college on the West Coast (Stanford University) and law school on the East Coast (New York University), she came to Nashville for one year to clerk for Judge Martha Daughtrey on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. One year turned into almost twenty, and now Mary Kathryn calls Nashville home.
Prior to joining TIRRC in June 2019, Mary Kathryn spent almost fourteen years working as a lawyer at the Metro Nashville Public Defenders Office, representing low-income people charged with crimes. In her last five years at the Public Defender's Office, Mary Kathryn developed the New Americans Project to improve legal representation for immigrants and non-citizen defendants. After over ten years collaborating with TIRRC, Mary Kathryn is delighted to now be on staff as TIRRC's first Legal Director. She looks forward to building a legal department that supports TIRRC's advocacy and organizing mission through education, direct representation and impact litigation.