Meet UC Law SF Plaintiffs’ Law Association President Catherine Cawley

smiling female law student

Catherine Cawley ’24 is president of the UC Law SF Plaintiffs’ Law Association.

UC Law San Francisco is home to dozens of student organizations that help law students connect with like-minded peers and network for their future careers. One of these many groups is the Plaintiffs’ Law Association.

Meet Plaintiffs’ Law Association President Catherine Cawley and hear in her own words what’s great about her organization.

Three law students (two female, one male) pose and smile smile

Hailey Zanutto ’24, Catherine Cawley ’24, and Daniel Cassee ’24 are members of the UC Law SF PLA Executive Board.

Q: What is the Plaintiffs’ Law Association (PLA)?

A: The PLA organizes panel discussions and networking events that feature plaintiffs’ attorneys from small, large, and mid-sized firms. Students learn about multiple practice areas, including personal injury, consumer protection, employment law, housing law, civil rights law, and more. Attorneys who speak to students at PLA events talk about a wide variety of subjects, ranging from how to effectively represent a client during a trial, to how to manage personal and professional time, and how to build strong relationships and trust with clients and coworkers.

Q: Why is this organization good for law students?

A: These events are valuable because they show students the variety of career options post-law school. Plaintiffs’ litigation is an alternative path to corporate defense/big law and non-profit work. The PLA exists to make sure students are aware of all the available career opportunities before they graduate.

Q: How did you get involved in the PLA?

A: I joined the PLA to connect law students with practicing plaintiffs’ attorneys and to explore the different types of legal issues and cases one can work on in this field. The PLA has helped me learn about the many plaintiffs’ firms in the Bay Area and which ones specialize in the types of cases I want to work on after law school. I’m most interested in tenant rights and workers’ rights.

Q: What was your journey to law school?

I grew up in Massachusetts and studied Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. After working in the art auction industry, I decided to go to law school because I want to build a career advocating for the rights of individuals. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend law school. I’d like to use that opportunity to represent people who need lawyers. If I can take my education and put some of that good luck and opportunity back into the world by translating legal jargon and advocating for people who have had their rights violated, I will have accomplished my goal.

For more information about the PLA, email

The PLA is hosting a networking event with practicing Bay Area plaintiffs’ lawyers on Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Sky Room on the 24th floor of the Tower at 100 McAllister St.