Dorothy L. Fernandez is Pro Bono Counsel based in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster LLP. She is responsible for managing and promoting the participation of lawyers in the firm’s extensive pro bono program which includes, among other things, providing free legal services to low-income individuals, advising nonprofit organizations and assisting in other matters that serve the public interest. Dorothy’s primary focus is on working with lawyers in the firm’s Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver and Tokyo offices.
In 1999, Dorothy joined Morrison & Foerster as an associate in the Securities Litigation, Enforcement and White-Collar Criminal Defense Group. She was elected a partner of the firm in 2004. Dorothy handled complex litigation at the state, federal and appellate levels and was responsible for drafting key dispositive motions in some of the firm’s largest securities litigation matters. In addition, she had an active pro bono practice and represented clients in individual matters, as well as cases addressing the treatment of children in foster care and the rights of LGBT individuals.
A dedicated advocate for the LGBT community, Dorothy has served as co-chair of the board of directors of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and she also served on the board of the Pride Law Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to law students working on issues related to the equal rights of LGBT citizens and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Dorothy currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo) and Centro Legal de la Raza, a nonprofit based in Oakland.
Dorothy graduated from Stanford University in 1992 with a B.A. in psychology. She earned a J.D. in 1996 from Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and co-chair of HLS Lambda. She has taught as an adjunct instructor at both Golden Gate University Law School and Santa Clara University Law School.
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