Katharine Krause, former senior attorney and executive director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and widely recognized for her dedication to gaining health and government benefits for the poor, has died. She was 47.
Ms. Krause died Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer, her law partner, Valerie Vanaman, said.
For her lifelong work in poverty law, Ms. Krause received the Loren Miller Legal Services Award from the State Bar of California in 1990. The award cited her for "outstanding leadership in extending legal services to the poor in California."
In 1989, she earned the Norma Zarky Memorial Award from the Beverly Hills Bar Assn. "for dedicated service to the less fortunate in the community." In 1987, she was awarded the Ernestine Stahlhut Award from the Women Lawyers Assn. of Los Angeles for her inspiration to prospective women attorneys.
As a Legal Aid Foundation attorney from 1977 to 1981 and executive director from 1981 until 1990, Ms. Krause paired her flair for social service and law to aid the poor. As head of the Los Angeles agency she supervised a staff of 160, including 55 attorneys, 15 offices and a $9-million budget.
She earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from Radcliffe, a master's degree from the Bank Street College of Education in New York and a law degree from USC.
Ms. Krause served on the board of directors of the Western Center on Law & Poverty and the distribution committee of the Legal Assistance Assn. of California. She was also vice chairwoman of the California Legal Services Project Directors Assn.
Since 1990, she had been in private practice with the Sherman Oaks law firm of Newman Aaronson & Vanaman.
Ms. Krause is survived by three sisters, Margaret McCormick, Carol Krause and Susan Krause Bell, and eight nieces and nephews.
A memorial service is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the rose garden at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge.
The family has asked that any memorial donations be made to the Inner City Law Center in care of Executive Director Nancy Mintie, P.O. Box 21487, Los Angeles 90021.