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Jonathan Kathrein focuses his practice in commercial and residential real estate transactions and land use. He counsels clients through the entire lifecycle of their real estate projects. Mr. Kathrein regularly forms LLCs, manages due diligence for potential acquisitions (e.g., title, environmental, leasing, and land use), drafts purchase and sale agreements, handles land use and project entitlement, and assists with the financing, leasing, and sale of property.

In the residential context, Mr. Kathrein routinely handles the purchase and sale of single-family homes and condominiums, known as “broker-less transactions” or “for-sale by owner”.

Mr. Kathrein regularly appears in front of Planning Commissions, Design Review Boards, City Councils, and Boards of Supervisors where he represents clients entitling (or seeking planning approval) for commercial and multi-family projects, industrial projects, and single-family residential projects.

Mr. Kathrein is uniquely qualified in his experience handling railroad real estate and land use matters. He spent the beginning of his legal career solving complex property issues for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company, the Golden Gate Railroad Museum, and others. He has been involved in the railroad-related property transactions underlying the Victory Station warehouse in Schellville and the purchase of Railroad Square in Santa Rosa from SMART. He has also been involved in handling the easements along hundreds of miles of railroad right of way.

Mr. Kathrein has been deeply involved in real estate and politics for multiple decades, even before returning to the University of San Francisco School of Law where he earned his JD at night. At the beginning of his career, Mr. Kathrein was a licensed real estate salesperson in Honolulu, HI. He spent five years as the Executive Director of a youth leadership and mentorship program that brought UC Berkeley student-mentors into some of the most challenging school environments in the Bay Area. He was a United States Senate intern in Washington D.C. and later worked for a former United States Congressman for the North Coast of California. Mr. Kathrein has been involved in many political campaigns and has been involved in local, state, and federal government.


  • California


  • University of San Francisco, J.D.
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A.


  • The Future of Drones is The Railroad, California Real Property Law Journal, Volume 36, Number 2 (Fall 2018, writing competition winner)
  • The Future of Drones is The Railroad, USF IP and Tech Law Journal (Spring 2017)
Super Lawyers Martindale Hubbel AV Preeminent Law 360