After serving many years in-house in higher education institutions, I have a good feel for client needs and expectations, and can provide advice that is practical in a complex environment.

Christine Helwick is of counsel in the San Francisco office. With over 20 years of senior leadership experience, she provides a broad range of advice to higher education clients, does investigations, serves as a hearing officer, and coaches high-level managers.

Christine is the General Counsel Emeritus for the California State University system, where she served for 16 years as a part of the Chancellor’s executive team and provided leadership for the 23 attorneys responsible for legal services at every campus within the CSU. She created unique metric points to keep her staff accountable to the Board, and a series of handbooks to give information to lay clients on substantive legal topics. To celebrate her retirement from the CSU, Christine walked the 500-mile pilgrimage trail in Spain, the Camino de Santiago. Before her service at CSU, Christine served as the head of Litigation at the University of California system. She was also the Berkeley campus counsel during the period of anti-apartheid demonstrations and violent PETA protests.

Since joining Hirschfeld Kraemer, Christine has provided general campus advice and served as investigator, hearing officer, and appeal hearing officer in campus Title IX matters. She has twice been embedded as an investigator in the Title IX office at Stanford University, filling in for attorneys on leave.

Christine has served on two ABA accreditation teams at the University of Maine and the Appalachian School of Law. She is on the Board of the Center for the Collaborative Classroom and previously served on the Board of the African Library Project. She is currently partnered through the Community Committee for International Students to serve as a language partner and general community guide for international graduate students at Stanford. She mentored an under-served high school student through Operation Jumpstart in Long Beach, and also was a resource attorney for Shortstop, a juvenile diversion program sponsored by the Long Beach Bar Association. She volunteers for Days for Girls in Palo Alto and Second Harvest Food Bank in San Carlos.

As a respected higher education leader, Christine has been quoted in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Corporate Counsel, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Inside Counsel, Inside Higher Education, General Counsel California, and Business Officer magazine.

Christine’s personal interests include bicycling, cooking, traveling, and reading. She has two grown children and two grandsons.

2007 Distinguished Service Award, National Association of College and University Attorneys 2013

Corporate Counsel Magazine, Best Legal Department

Fulbright Award for Higher Education Administrators

National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) – President, 2002-2003; Board Member, 1995-2004

National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) – Board Member, 2001-2007 (served as the only attorney on the Board)

Oxford University, Blackstone Seminar – Participant

Aspen Institute, Justice and Society Program – Participant

Juvenile Diversion Program – Shortstop

Operation Jumpstart, Long Beach, California – Mentor

African Library Project – Board Member

Center for the Collaborative Classroom – Board Member

University of Maine School of Law and Appalachian School of Law, ABA Site Evaluation Team – Member

Issues Arising with US Employees Working Remotely in Other Countries“, Employment Law Alliance podcast, Episode 227, March 17, 2021

“Faculty and Employee Sexual Misconduct,” Panelist, NACUA Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 25, 2018

“Service and Emotional Support Animals,” CUPA, Northern California Chapter, San Francisco, California, May 31, 2018

“Becoming a Provost Academy  — What Every Provost Needs to Know About the Law,” Bellevue, Washington, July 27, 2018

College and University General Counsel Institute, Speaker, 2015

“Becoming a Provost” Academy, American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU)

Christine Helwick Quoted in, “Stanford’s Draft Title IX Procedures Explained,” Stanford Daily, August 5, 2020

Christine Helwick Interviewed on WHDH-Boston about Campus Closings Due to Coronavirus, WHDH-TV, March 10, 2020

Christine Helwick Quoted on Inside Higher Ed on Coronavirus, Inside Higher Ed, March 3, 2020

Christine Helwick Weighs in on NCAA and Student Athlete Compensation, Corporate Counsel, October 30, 2019

Christine Helwick Calls U.S. Soccer Federation Rationale on Equal Pay “Voodoo Math”Daily Journal, July 9, 2019

Christine Helwick Comments on College Admissions Scandal to Corporate Counsel

Christine Helwick Weighs in on College Admissions Scandal to CNN, Corporate Counsel

Christine Helwick Quoted in Corporate Counsel re: Proposed Title IX Rules

Christine Helwick Quoted in Article About Sexual Harassment By Faculty on College Campuses

Christine Helwick Speaks to Inside Higher Ed About Protection of Students On Campus

Christine Helwick and Jeffrey Orleans Speak to Inside Higher Ed on What’s Next For Football Union Fight

Steve Hirschfeld and Christine Helwick Quoted in Corporate Counsel Article Regarding In-House Counsels at Colleges and Universities

HK’s Christine Helwick Tells the Daily Journal That “Only Yes Means Yes In California Schools”

Christine Helwick Addresses “Affirmative Consent” in Inside Higher Ed

Christine Helwick Addresses “Pitfalls for New Presidents” in Article for Inside Higher Ed

Christine Helwick Tells General Counsels “Six Ways to Do More With Less”

Christine Helwick Tells CFOs that “Communication is Key” in Inside Higher Ed


J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1973

M.A., Northwestern University, 1969

B.A., Stanford University, 1968



Southern, Central, Northern, and Eastern Federal District Courts in California

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States Supreme Court