Kristen concentrates on athletics regulation, specifically gender equity in athletics (Title IX). Kristen brings a unique perspective to her work. She is an Olympic Gold Medalist (1984) as part of the first U.S. women's rowing team ever to win Olympic Gold. Kristen is a former Division I collegiate rower, and she won three World Championship silver medals as a member of the U.S. national rowing team and multiple U.S. national championships.

In addition to her traditional legal work, Kristen is an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an international body for sports-related disputes, and she has served on adjudicative panels for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Kristen’s lifelong experience as an athlete at all levels of competition, her career as a litigator, and her experience working with national and international athletic bodies allows her to provide practical guidance to universities, colleges and school districts navigating Title IX’s regulatory requirements for athletic programs.

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  • University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee, 2018
  • Ontario County Service Excellence Award, 2011
  • Co-Recipient of Ernestine Bayer Award – U.S. Rowing Association’s “Woman of the Year,” 2008
  • Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, 2007
  • Alameda County Counsel Association Award, 2001
  • County Counsel’s Association of California Litigation Award, 1998
  • Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion, U.S. National and Olympic Rowing Team, 1984
  • World Championship Silver Medalist, 1982, 1983, 1987
  • United State Rowing Hall of Fame Inductee, 1984
  • U.S. National Rowing Championships National Champions: 1979, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988; Masters National Champion, 2001 and 2005
  • Big Ten Rower of the Decade, 1980s
  • Big Ten Female Athlete of the Decade, Runner Up, 1980s

  • Olympian Attorney Joins Rochester Law Office, The Daily Record, March 24, 2023

  • “The Court for Sport: Alternative Dispute Resolution Before the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” Bar Association of Erie County’s Alternative Dispute Resolution and Diversity & Inclusion Committee CLE, April 12, 2024
  • "Navigating the Higher Education Regulatory Landscape," Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York Annual Meeting, March 11, 2024
  • An Interview with Kris Thorsness, Title IX, Legally Bond Podcast, June 26, 2023
  • “Title IX in Athletics 50 Years Later: Still a Ways to Go,” Bond, Schoeneck & King CLE, June 2022
  • “The International Court of Arbitration for Sport,” Alaska Bar Association Mediation and Arbitration Section, May 2022
  • “Second Opinion: Cardiac Comeback,” PBS, 2017 and 2020
  • Television and Print Media Appearances, University of Rochester Medicine and Thompson Health, 2013-2014, 2017
  • “Lessons Learned on Perseverance,” SUNY Geneseo Leadership Development Program, February 2015
  • "Women’s Cardiac Health," Ontario County Employee Wellness Committee, 2013
  • Keynote Speaker, NCAA National Rowing Championships Banquet, 2004
  • Keynote Speaker, Russell Sage College Athletics Department Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction, 2002
  • Panelist, “Thirty Years of Title IX” Panel Discussion, William Smith College, 2002
  • Keynote Speaker, University of Wisconsin Men’s and Women’s Rowing Teams’ Awards Banquet, 1998

  • Court of Arbitration for Sport, 2021-Present
  • U.S. Rowing Association, Board of Directors, 2015-2017; USRA Judge-Referee, 2004-Present