Katherine Karl is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale's Exempt Organizations practice group.
Ms. Karl’s practice focuses on helping tax-exempt organizations find solutions to legal, risk management, and compliance challenges grounded in both a sophisticated understanding of the tax law and perspective that comes from years serving as in-house counsel to two of the nation’s largest charities.
Ms. Karl started her legal career at Caplin & Drysdale in 2006, and prior to returning to the firm in 2022, she served as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of The Humane Society of the United States. As a member of the HSUS executive team, Ms. Karl shared responsibility for management of a complex global organization while leading teams that worked across the enterprise on matters including litigation, employment, corporate governance, trusts and estates, and tax. Before her position at HSUS, Ms. Karl was the Deputy General Counsel at the American Cancer Society, where she was the primary counsel on tax and public policy advocacy. Ms. Karl has deep experience implementing practical legal solutions as well as addressing the public relations, governance, and culture challenges that often accompany legal problems.
While in-house, Ms. Karl maintained her connection to the broader exempt organizations community by regularly speaking at national and regional conferences and staying active with the Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region Nonprofit and Associations Committee.
Admissions & Education
Bar & Court Admissions
- District of Columbia
- New York
J.D., Yale Law School, 2005, Yale Law Journal, Yale Law & Policy Review
B.A., Cornell University, 1999, magna cum laude, with distinction in all subjects
Recognitions & Noteworthy
Honors & Recognitions
- Outstanding In-House Counsel Award, American Bar Association, Nonprofit Organizations Committee, 2021
- Top 50 Corporate Counsel, OnCon Icon Award, 2021
- Washington, D.C.’s Top Corporate Counsel, Trending 40, 2016
Law Clerk, Honorable Stephen C. Robinson, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Legislative Aide, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Newsroom & Publications
- Caplin & Drysdale Welcomes Back Katherine Karl Former General Counsel of the Humane Society of the United States03.31.2022 | Caplin & Drysdale
- Katherine Karl Addresses Governance Issues of an Internal Investigation at UT Law Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute02.08.2024 | Austin, TX
- Katherine Karl, Bryson Morgan, and Amanda Reed Address Crisis Management at ACC Annual Nonprofit Conference05.04.2023 | Washington, D.C.
- Katherine Karl Addresses Illegality and Public Policy Doctrine at 40th Annual Representing and Managing Tax-Exempt Organizations Conference04.27.2023 | Washington, D.C.
- Katherine Karl Addresses Elections and Nonprofit Compliance at UT Law Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute01.20.2023 | Austin, TX
- Katherine Karl Explores Lobbying Limitations for Exempt Organizations at ABA Fall Tax Exempt Organizations Symposium09.08.2022 | Virtual
- Meghan Biss and Katherine Karl Analyze Role of Nonprofit CFO at ACC Nonprofits and Associations Conference05.05.2022 | Virtual
- Katherine Karl Explores Election Year Challenges for Exempt Organizations at Georgetown Law Conference04.28.2022 | Grand Hyatt Washington, D.C.
- Katherine Karl Speaks at TEGE Exempt Organizations Council Practitioner Roundtable03.04.2022
- Katherine Karl Addressed Governance in Times of Crisis at UT School of Law 39th Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute01.13.2022
- Katherine Karl Speaks on Advocacy Issues for Charitable Organizations at Georgetown Law Conference04.23.2021
- Katherine Karl Moderates Panel on Broker Relationships at ACC Nonprofits & Associations Committee Roundtable Series04.21.2021
- Katherine Karl Speaks on Governance and Fiduciary Issues During a Crisis at University of Texas School of Law 38th Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute01.20.2021
Publications & Alerts
- 06.30.2023 | Exempt Organizations Alert
- 06.28.2022 | Exempt Organizations Alert