X. Kevin Zhao represents clients in complex litigation, including multidistrict class actions, business disputes and arbitration, and product-liability litigation.

Kevin has prosecuted and defended a variety of claims in federal and state courts across the country. Kevin excels at mastering complex fact patterns and challenging legal theories. His talent for identifying and articulating the most critical issues without losing important nuances makes him an effective advocate for clients at all stages of litigation—from initial case assessment to post-trial appeals.

Kevin also has substantial experience in cross-border disputes. Leveraging his fluency in Mandarin, for instance, Kevin has prepared, defended, and taken numerous depositions of Chinese-speaking witnesses in China and Hong Kong.  

In addition to complex litigation, Kevin advises clients on regulatory-compliance matters, including trade compliance and export controls, and conducts sensitive internal investigations.

Kevin maintains an active pro bono practice, working with asylum seekers in partnership with The Advocates for Human Rights.



  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • State Bar of Minnesota

Professional & Community Affiliations


  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Diversity Committee
  • Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Young Lawyers Group


Thought Leadership


  • Co-Author of “The Criminalization of Immigration and the International Norm of Non-Discrimination: Deportation and Detention in U.S. Immigration Law,” Journal of Law and Inequality, Volume 29, No. 2. (Summer 2011)


  • 2019 Business Law Update, 2019 Business Law Institute, Minnesota CLE (May 6, 2019)
  • Corporate Law Dept Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives – Attracting and Retaining In-House Lawyers and Outside Counsel, Minnesota State Bar Association (June 2018)
  • 2018 Minnesota Business Update: Caselaw and Legislative Developments, 2018 Business Law Institute (May 2018)
  • Minnesota Business Law: Cases You Need to Know About, 2017 Business Law Institute, Minnesota CLE (May, 2017)
  • Developments in International Law Practice Under the New Administration - Trade, Tax, Cyber Security, Anti-Corruption, and Immigration, 2017 International Business Law Institute, Minnesota CLE and the MSBA International Business Law Section (May 2017)


  • Selected to Rising Stars list, Minnesota Super Lawyers (2019)
  • Recognized as Up and Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer (2018)
  • Appointed to the Merit Selection Panel by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim to advise the U.S. District Court of the District of Minnesota on the selection of a new U.S. Magistrate Judge (February, 2018)
  • Recognized as Minnesota State Bar Association North Star Lawyer for pro bono service (2014-2018)
  • Graduate Fellow for Constitutional Law and Corporations, Harvard Law School


Mandarin (fluent-speaking)


Practice Areas


J.D., Harvard Law School, magna cum laude (2010); Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Senior Editor; Harvard Law & Policy Review, Student Articles Editor

B.A., University of Minnesota, Political Science and Global Studies, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa (2004)


U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, The Honorable Patrick J. Schiltz, Law Clerk (2011-2012)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, The Honorable James B. Loken, Law Clerk (2012-2013)

Faegre & Benson LLP, Associate (2011)