Nancy L. Dearborn

Nancy Dearborn’s practice focuses on workplace investigations, compliance-related employee training, and general employment law compliance advice.  Ms. Dearborn has significant, hands-on experience with the kinds of issues that Human Resources professionals deal with every day, including hiring, organizational development, employee classifications, independent contractor issues, policy development, performance issues, and terminations. She has provided numerous trainings in the areas of sexual harassment, discrimination, and performance management, and has personally conducted investigations for both large and small clients into allegations of harassment, discrimination, and misconduct.

Prior Experience

After spending 5 years in practice with Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C., one of the nations’s largest and most prestigious law firms, she moved to California and was a founder of one of the Bay Area’s first legal recruiting companies, Ivy Associates. She then served as Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel of Gemfire, a venture-backed start-up in the optical networking space. She also served as the head of Employee Relations at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm based in Palo Alto. Most recently, Ms. Dearborn has worked with Employment Practices Solutions, where she engaged in complex employment-based investigations and provided training for businesses in a variety of industries.

Educational Background

Ms. Dearborn holds a B.A. with honors from Brown University. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Notes Editor of the Texas Law Review.

Bar Admission

Ms. Dearborn is admitted to the State Bar of California (active) as well as the District of Columbia Bar (inactive).

“I have had the pleasure of working with Nancy for a number of years, in her two separate stints on the executive team at Gemfire and now also in her role as a consultant to the company. Her sensitivity to business issues along with her expertise in both the legal and HR fields allow her to contribute very effectively to the management team on tactical as well as strategic issues. Nancy protected the company well regarding employment law matters through more than one down-sizing/restructuring in the US and abroad, at the same time being mindful of doing the right thing for the individuals in a small company context. She is quick, knowledgeable, pleasant, and helps the team to function more smoothly.”

Carl Yordan, Principal at Carl Yordan Consulting

“Nancy has significant experience in employment law and effectively applied her deep knowledge and skill to managing the employment and employee relations functions at our firm. She built a successful recruiting team that incorporated technology and innovative search processes to identify and select talent. She researched employment related policy information to update existing policies and introduce valuable new policies.

Nancy’s interpersonal skills allowed her to communicate effectively with employees at all levels of the firm, and they were key to her ability to handle employee relations issues with confidence and credibility.

She has a strong work ethic; is a team player, and is fun to work with! I was always comfortable when I knew that Nancy was handling a project or situation.”

Stacey Layzell, Chief Administrative & Human Resources Officer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

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