Katie Hennessey

Katie Hennessey is a Senior Court Management Consultant, National Center for State Courts.

Katie brings a broad range of professional experience to her work at the National Center for State Courts. Prior to joining NCSC, she was General Counsel and Assistant Executive Director for the State Bar of Michigan (an integrated bar) and helped lead Michigan’s Justice for All Efforts, serving on the Justice for All Task Force Executive Team and Justice for All Commission Executive Team. As part of her work for the JFA Commission, she led the Debt Collection Work Group, which, with help from The Pew Charitable Trusts and January Advisors, focused on data-driven solutions to debt collection litigation in Michigan, including modernizing service of process, increasing evidentiary requirements for plaintiffs to obtain default judgments, making legal processes more understandable and accessible to consumers, and improving court data.  She was the primary drafter of the recently published Debt Collection Report.

As part of her work the State Bar of Michigan, Katie focused on court policy reform, with a focus on access to justice issues, including rules to encourage limited scope representation, creating a consistent fee waiver process, and modernizing the civil discovery rules. She was also actively engaged with many discussions surrounding regulatory reform.  In addition to her policy work, she led the defense of a first amendment challenge to the integrated bar, which was ultimately denied cert by the United States Supreme Court and was the lead staff on the State Bar’s strategic planning efforts. Prior to her work at the State Bar, Katie clerked for Justice Viviano in the Michigan Supreme Court.

Katie has also taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law in the Civil Advocacy Clinic and has worked on a broad array of poverty law issues, including housing, consumer debt, public benefits, and unemployment insurance cases at the trial and appellate levels.

Prior to teaching, Katie worked in national and international law firms, focusing on trial and appellate federal litigation.

Katie graduated from Harvard Law School and the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Philosophy.  She enjoys reading, writing, wordle, yoga, running, and running after her two young children.