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Managing Partner



Kirsten has exclusively practiced employment law for nearly 30 years and is an experienced neutral, serving as an arbitrator, mediator, trainer, and investigator. Kirsten was an employment litigator at a large New Jersey firm before she launched KSBranigan Law P.C. in 2006. In addition to her private firm experience, she also has government and academic experience.  For the past 15+ years, Kirsten has served as an employment arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and an employment mediator. 

With significant experience in conducting complex employment investigations, Kirsten developed a cutting-edge investigation training workshop, entitled HR on Trial: Preparing HR as a Litigation Witness & Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations to help organizations educate their staff on successful investigation approaches and implement effective investigation practices and protocols. She has testified as an expert witness on the efficacy of investigations. She provided testimony during a September 2019 public hearing on sexual harassment by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) and the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA), from which a February 2020 Report resulted in the first-ever written “Investigation Best Practices” in New Jersey.

Kirsten’s investigation experience includes employees at all levels, including upper management, C-suite executives, and employees in legal, compliance, and human resources roles. She has conducted investigations in a broad array of industries and sectors. She has experience with global and national companies, including Fortune 500. She has decades of experience in conducting harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and bias prevention training and coaching. She also provides diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting and training services for organizations, including in the legal profession.  She has experience conducting comprehensive equal pay audits and assisting organizations with navigating pay equity legal requirements.  She also serves as an external advisor in Princeton University’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Grievance Program.

Kirsten is a recognized leader and a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2023, she served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School to help launch a first-of-its-kind study focused on solutions to the advancement and retention challenges faced by women in the New Jersey legal profession. She contributed to the August 2022 Report issued by the Rutgers Center for Women and Work on slow progress on advancement and equal compensation and was a Founding Partner in a 2007 study by the Rutgers Center for Women and Work and the New Jersey Gender Parity Council that focused on challenges with respect to retention of women in the law. In 2006, she led a revitalization of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA)(which was on the verge of disbanding to a thriving and robust membership), serving as its President and continues to sit on its Board.

Kirsten also supports attorney wellness initiatives. In 2021, she was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program, where she focused on efforts to remove stigmas associated with mental health and substance use and encourage lawyers to seek treatment.

Speaking Engagements & Publications

Kirsten speaks and publishes on employment law related topics and on diversity, equity, and inclusion, both locally and nationally, including with the American Bar Association and the Practising Law Institute.

Some recent articles include:

AAA Panels/ADR Roles

  • Investigator, Investigation Panel, American Arbitration Association

  • Arbitrator, Employment Panel, American Arbitration Association

  • Mediator, Mediation Panel, American Arbitration Association

  • New Jersey Court Roster Mediator

Academic Roles

  • Adjunct Professor, Rutgers Law School, Newark, International Human Rights Clinic (Spring 2023)

  • External Advisor, Princeton University’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Grievance Program (September 2022-Present)

Leadership & Projects

  • Workplace Investigation Committee of the NJSBA Labor & Employment Executive Board (2018-present)

  • Founding Partner, 2007 Legal Talent at the Crossroads Study by the Rutgers Center for Women and Work and the New Jersey Gender Parity Council

Recognitions & Associations

  • Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, committed to professionalism and civility, and excellence in the practice of employment law (2016-present)
  • Powerful Women of NJ 2023
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, Alternative Dispute Resolution (2020-present)*

  • Rated AV Preeminent through Martindale Hubbell**

  • New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts (2014-2018)

  • New Jersey Council on Diversity and Inclusion Transition Committee (gubernatorial appointment) (2017)

  • Women’s Initiative and Leaders in the Law (WILL) Platinum Award, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (2016)

  • Commissioner, Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) (gubernatorial appointment) (2007-2009)

  • Alice Paul Equality Award, Alice Paul Institute (2008)

  • Kirsten Scheurer Branigan Presidential Leadership Award (created in her name by NJWLA) (2008)

  • NJ BIZ, Mover & Shaker in the Legal Industry and 40 Under Forty Award (2008)

  • Professional Lawyer of the Year Award, New Jersey Commission on Professionalism (2006)


Admitted to Practice


  • Rutgers Law School, Rutgers University, Newark, J.D. (Minority Student Program, Alumna)

  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, B.A. with High Honors (Henry Rutgers Scholar)

  • Saint Dominic Academy, Jersey City

The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers - leadership for greater purpose
New Jersey State Bar Association
Association of Workplace Investigators
New Jersey Women Law Association
Kirsten S. Branigan
Rated by Super Lawyers

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No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The Super Lawyers lists are issued by ThompsonReuters. The selection process is conducted by an independent firm that determines which lawyers in New Jersey have attained a high degree of peer recognition & professional achievement. The methodology used by Super Lawyers can be accessed by the Super Lawyers website.

**MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® PEER REVIEW RATINGS are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability. The rating is generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in similar areas of practice within the same jurisdiction and geographic location. The methodology used by Martindale-Hubbell can be accessed by the Martindale-Hubbell website. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.