Kathryn Karcher was born in London, England, in 1959, after which her family lived in Pakistan and India while her father worked as a medical doctor in Presbyterian Church hospitals. She learned Urdu while overseas. After several years, Ms. Karcher's family moved to the small town of Hemet, California, where she lived until moving to San Diego to attend UCSD. She lived in San Diego until 2005, except for three years spent in Los Angeles earning her law degree at UCLA.
After completing law school, Ms. Karcher rode her bicycle across the United States, starting at the coastline in Florence, Oregon, and ending in Boston, Massachusetts. She has practiced law ever since, joining the then-San Diego firm of Gray Cary Ames & Frye in 1989.
In 2005, Ms. Karcher remarried and moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington, where she continued to practice with Gray Cary successor DLA Piper in its San Diego and Seattle offices. In 2008 she left the firm and opened her own practice. Since then she has maintained offices in San Diego and on Bainbridge Island. Ms. Karcher and her husband, Jeff Harmes, formed Karcher Harmes LLP in 2010, and Karcher Harmes PS in 2012.
Ms. Karcher and Mr. Harmes have five children who range from teenagers to young adults. Their eldest just graduated from the University of Washington, which another still attends. Ms. Karcher became passionate about Special Education through her eldest daughter's successful struggle with a serious disability to which Special Education services were indispensible. Ms. Karcher serves on the Bainbridge Island School District's Special Education Program Council.
Ms. Karcher has been an avid runner for over 35 years, starting when she was 19. She scuba dives and boats frequently with her family in Puget Sound.