DAYL is pleased to feature Kathleen Cruz as One to Watch! Kathleen is an associate at Burke Bogdanowicz PLLC, practicing in the areas of complex commercial litigation, employment counseling and litigation, insurance defense, and products liability disputes.
Growing up, Kathleen knew she always wanted to be a lawyer. From a young age, she enjoyed helping others solve their problems and being a bridge between cultures. Kathleen is the daughter of parents who immigrated from the Philippines, and she was born in San Diego, California, where her dad served in the U.S. Navy. Kathleen is in the first generation of her family to attend college, and the first in her family to attend law school. As she was growing up, she had to navigate and learn on her own what seemed to be easy or already figured out to her other American classmates. Now, as an attorney, she is driven to help people who come from similar diverse and ethnic minority backgrounds – both clients and colleagues. Kathleen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin as an English and Psychology major in 2012. Kathleen then attended SMU Dedman School of Law and graduated in 2015. At SMU Law, she served as the President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and was an Associate Managing Editor of the International Law Review Association. Kathleen also externed for U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma Ramirez, where she developed her passion for litigation and trial work.
Like many other young attorneys in Dallas, Kathleen has had to adjust her practice to the post-pandemic reality. She tried three cases in the past year virtually, where she had to handle not only cross-examining expert witnesses, but also deftly showing exhibits for a better presentation of evidence for the judge. Litigating and presenting a case behind a computer screen was difficult, but Kathleen rose to the challenge.
Kathleen has loyally served the Dallas legal community and DAYL in numerous ways. She is a member of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association and participated in DAABA’s mentoring program. From 2019-2020, Kathleen was a member of DAYL’s Leadership Class, which quickly became known for pivoting when the COVID-19 pandemic began and hosted an air conditioning unit drive for senior citizens as its class project. Last year, Kathleen moderated a CLE panel with Judges Paula Rosales and Juan Jasso on the state of post-pandemic evictions in Dallas for a joint program between the DAYL Judiciary and Aid to the Homeless Committees. Today, Kathleen is a co-chair and longstanding member of the DAYL Judiciary Committee, and her favorite aspect of the committee is connecting young lawyers with members of the Dallas judiciary. Currently, Kathleen and the Judiciary Committee are gearing up for Dinner with the Judiciary on October 18, 2022.
When she is not practicing law or planning one of the Judiciary Committee’s fabulous events, Kathleen is probably walking the Katy Trail with her Westie; laying down miles while indoor cycling in her favorite studio; or volunteering with non-profit For the Love of the Lake, which organizes picking up trash around the busiest areas of White Rock Lake. Kathleen also is an avid supporter of her hometown teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and Chargers. Plus, she is dedicated to trying every new restaurant in her neighborhood of Victory Park and across the city. If you need a restaurant recommendation, she’s your girl. Kathleen Cruz’s love for her community is remarkable and worthy of imitation, making her one to watch in her legal career and beyond!