A.B. Wellesley College, 1982
J.D. BerkeleyLaw, 1989
In the world of worker’s rights advocacy, Jean is a recognized leader. She is the recipient of the 2019 Joe Posner Award as Attorney of the Year from the California Employment Lawyers Association. In 2018, the 1300-member strong organization also bestowed on her its prestigious Leadership Award and honored her, along with four other colleagues, with the “Strike Force 5” award for their initiative in pressing for sweeping legislative change to California’s sexual harassment laws.
As active participants in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, Jean and the other attorneys of Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP represent silence breakers and counsel women who are speaking out as part of this national cultural reckoning, a subject Jean addressed in her interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Jean testified before the first hearing in the California Assembly to address the reports of rampant sexual harassment in the California Capitol and she remains actively engaged in the effort to reform California’s employment laws to protect survivors of harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
Although her litigation practice is devoted to representation of employees, Jean has also served as a mediator in employment and disability access lawsuits for over 15 years, following intensive training in mediation through the U.S. District Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. Counsel for employers and employees have found her to be effective in assisting both sides to evaluate the case strengths and weaknesses during facilitated settlement negotiations.
Jean also trains lawyers, law students and judges on topics including mediation, jury selection, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, disability rights, and trial skills in California and around the country. In recent years, she has spoken at seminars and workshops presented by the Northern District of California Judicial College, California Applicant Attorneys Association, Bar Association of San Francisco, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, California Employment Lawyers Association, and Continuing Education of the Bar.
In 2017, the Daily Journal named Jean one of California’s “Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers.” For a dozen years, San Francisco Magazine has annually recognized Jean as one of Northern California’s “Super Lawyers” in the field of employment law, including many years as one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California.” Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine profiled Jean in a cover story in 2014, the same year that Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP was ranked by Super Lawyers as the Top Employment Law Firm among small firms in California.
Soon after graduation from law school at the University of California, Berkeley, Jean opened her own law practice and began representing women who were sexually harassed and people with disabilities who faced discrimination. She then served as a Civil Rights Attorney with the U.S. Department of Education, the federal agency charged with enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in education. Following her time in public service, she returned to private practice with Boxer & Gerson, LLP, where she later became a partner. During her ten years at Boxer & Gerson, LLP, Jean developed a particular expertise in the complicated interplay between disability discrimination and workers’ compensation laws.
Outside of her work in the law, Jean serves as a board member with YES Nature to Neighborhoods, a Richmond-based leadership development organization, creates Sunday flower arrangements at her Unitarian Universalist church, and spends too much time on Twitter.