November Women’s Initiative Spotlight: Kat Lee

November Women’s Initiative Spotlight: Kat Lee


Kat Lee is Senior Counsel and a Team Leader in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office. With nine years’ experience as an attorney, Kat specializes in insurance defense, medical malpractice, catastrophic accidents, subrogation matters, personal injury, premise liability, business litigation and contract law. Learn more about this Ally McBeal fan and beach lover below.

T&M: Where did you go to undergrad and law school?

KL: I went to UCLA for undergrad, where I played on the varsity soccer team (go Bruins!), and Cal Western for law school.

T&M: What did you like most about the cities the two schools were located?

KL: In Los Angeles there was always somewhere to be, something to do and someone new to meet – never a dull moment. San Diego is a more laid back and relaxed environment. We live in paradise, and the people are awesome.

T&M: What drew you to Tyson & Mendes?

KL: I was drawn to the opportunity and growth the firm presented. Not only growth in terms of the size of the firm, but the ability for individual attorneys to move up the ladder. The ability to take on more challenging and unique cases also assures no two days are the same.

T&M: What do you enjoy most about working at the firm?

KL: I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with some very talented attorneys who are also great people. I also think T&M does a great job of constantly working to invest in its people to help them succeed. From in-house MCLE’s, individual marketing plans, and T&M University, to the firm happy hours and holiday parties, you have all the tools you need to succeed.

T&M: How has your role changed at the firm since becoming a team leader?

KL: I have had to change my mentality a bit from being focused inward on my own caseload and tasks to ensuring that the people on my team are supported and have the tools and opportunities they need to succeed and grow.

T&M: What has been the biggest challenge of your career thus far?

KL: I would say the biggest challenge thus far would be the first time I had to question a witness at trial. I was extremely nervous and spent way more time than I would like to admit practicing in front of the mirror and giving myself pep talks. A few questions in, though, my trembling voice faded away and I felt much less like hyperventilating.

T&M: What did you want to be when you grew up?

KL: I wanted to be a pediatrician or an NFL sideline reporter, but then I became an attorney. Not sure what happened there!

T&M: If you could be any TV lawyer for a day, who would it be and why?

KL: Ling Woo from Ally McBeal – she was a cutthroat lawyer and never apologized for it.

T&M: What’s your favorite restaurant in San Diego, and what dish(es) do you recommend?

KL: That is hard. There are SO many delicious restaurants here. One of my favorite dishes is the Polenta Board with Ragu at Cucina Urbana. Another local favorite is the Fish Shop Shrimp at The Fish Shop in Pacific Beach – it is amazing.

T&M: When not at work or home, where are we most likely to find you?

KL: The beach or somewhere very close by.

T&M: What is the best piece of advice you ever received:

KL: I recall my college soccer coach, Jill Ellis, who was big on inspirational quotes, once told our team: “Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.” It resonated with me and I still think about it today. It reminds me to walk to the beat of my own drum, continue to live my life in my own way, and not worry so much about what everyone else thinks.

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