Catherine Yao is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins.

She has advised both individual and organizational clients on white collar defense, internal investigations, and enforcement actions by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Her experience has also included leading associate teams in high profile and sensitive matters, including an independent panel auditing the police conduct surrounding the death of Elijah McClain and a trial team that obtained a full acquittal in a criminal false statement prosecution brought by Special Counsel John Durham in federal district court.

Prior to joining Latham, Ms. Yao worked as an intern in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, as well as an intern in the Operations and Enforcement Law Division of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of General Counsel.

During law school, Ms. Yao worked as a research assistant on issues related to international law, use of force, and treaty obligations, and as a law clerk in the University of Michigan’s General Counsel Health System Legal Office.

Ms. Yao earned her BA in Religion from Dartmouth College, where she also minored in Ethics. She earned her MPH in Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

She previously served as a member of the firm's Pro Bono Committee.

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts


  • JD, University of Michigan Law School, 2016
  • MPH, University of Michigan, 2016
  • BA, Dartmouth College, 2010