National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Kathleen Flaherty, J.D.

Kathy Flaherty is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project (CLRP), a statewide non-profit agency which provides legal services to low income individuals diagnosed with mental health conditions, who reside in hospitals or the community, on matters related to their treatment, recovery, and civil rights. Kathy previously worked as a staff attorney at Statewide Legal Services of CT, Inc., and at Connecticut Legal Services.  

A graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School, Kathy has dedicated her professional life to advocating for the rights of the underserved. Combining her personal experience as a recipient of mental health services and her legal background, Kathy is able to speak to issues affecting those living with mental illness from a multi-faceted perspective. Her advocacy work has earned her numerous honors including the Dr. Karen Kangas Advocacy Award (Advocacy Unlimited, 2010), the Spirit of the ADA Award, (ADA Coalition of Connecticut, 2011) and the Stigma Buster Award (State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, NAMI-CT, & CT Psychiatric Society, 2001, 2006, and 2007). Kathy is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers CT (the state’s lawyer assistance program), and the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE). She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.  

Kathy served on Governor Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (a 16-member panel of experts created by the Governor to review current policy and make specific recommendations in the areas of public safety, with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health, and gun violence prevention) and the Task Force to Improve Access to Legal Counsel in Civil Matters.