MSU College of Law

Katherine Catanese

Senior Counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP

2004 | New York, NY

Michigan State University| Psychology

“The Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice institute was invaluable—it allowed me to do mock trials so that when I started practicing I was able to handle the six jury trials that I did in my first year of practice.”

Katherine Catanese is a bankruptcy and restructuring attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. Her cases involve everything from representation of large creditors in oil, gas and coal bankruptcies, to representation of court appointed receivers in Chinese reverse merger cases where an entity has “gone dark” and returned to China, leaving U.S. investors without recourse.    

Her favorite part of the job is working with her team. “The bankruptcy team I am part of is the best group of people anyone could ask for,” Katie said.             

Her education at MSU Law helped her hit the ground running after graduation. “The Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice institute was invaluable—it allowed me to do mock trials so that when I started practicing I was able to handle the six jury trials that I did in my first year of practice,” she said. “I’m also glad I participated in moot court. I did two mock jury trials through this program, and later I was able to teach the moot court class. This experience assisted me in becoming a visiting professor.”  

Katie said one thing that sets MSU Law apart from other law schools is its focus on practical knowledge. “Several of my associates that went to other very prestigious law schools had never prepared interrogatories, had never done any kind of oral argument, had never been inside a courtroom,” she said. “Because of the practical experience I received while in law school, I was able to conduct a trial, write pleadings, and so forth, right out of school.”