Working with clients is the absolute best part of my job. One of my favorite things about having colleges and universities as clients is that they are not just a business enterprise but each institution has a unique culture and mission, as well as shared goals of educating students and providing an enriching work environment. The issues that crop-up are never exactly the same and addressing issues typically involves a combination of law and practical advice.
Erin Dolly is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office. She counsels institutions of higher education on a broad range of legal matters, including labor, employment, student affairs and compliance issues, including disability compliance and campus sexual assault prevention and response.
Erin advises, and has defended, private and public employers on issues relating to discrimination, harassment, disability laws, performance management, employee discipline and termination. She also drafts handbooks, policies and procedures to ensure that her clients are legally compliant and observing best practices. She also regularly conducts on-campus and workplace investigations and provides Title IX support to institutions including policy review and investigations.
Erin is the former Dean of Students at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she served for over seven years, with primary responsibility for students and recent graduates. In that role, she oversaw all aspects of student life including orientation, advising, policy development, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, student conduct, crisis intervention, commencement, and school-sponsored, post-graduate fellowships and programs. She is currently an Adjunct Faculty member at the Law School.
Prior to working in higher education, she worked as an attorney in the global employment group in the San Francisco office of Baker McKenzie.
When a client has a particular issue or objective, Erin views her job as identifying all of the options and any associated risks related to those options. “However,“ she says, “I also appreciate that the reason that they are seeking counsel is just that – they want counsel. While the decision about a course of action is ultimately theirs to make, I enjoy guiding them through their decision-making process.”
Erin lives in San Francisco with her husband, Dave, son, Connell, and Labrador Retriever, Finn. She spends most of her weekends exploring the city and checking out new restaurants. “I am happiest when learning something new, reading, cooking and traveling.”
Recipient of the Baker McKenzie Pro Bono and Community Service Award (2006, 2007)
Outstanding Barrister of the Year Award from the Bar Association of San Francisco (2006)
The Journal of College and University Law, Editorial Board Member (2015-2016)
National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), Member
University of San Francisco Women Lawyers Committee, Member
University of San Francisco Honorary Degrees Committee, Chair (2010-2012)
Bar Association of San Francisco Barristers Club, Pre-Practice Committee, Chair, (2005, 2006)
San Francisco Education Fund Volunteer
SF-Marin Food Bank Volunteer
Complying with the New FLSA Overtime Rules – An Action Plan for Institutions
Legal Compliance and Best Practices Campus Housing Accommodations
Conducted trauma-informed Title IX and workplace investigations
Co-authored amicus brief submissions to the United States Supreme Court in order to ensure client perspectives are represented (in support of permitting a holistic race-conscious college admissions process in Fisher v. UT Austin (2015) and in support of an application for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court on behalf of a special education advocacy group in Winkelman v. Parma City School District (2006))
Contributed to a background report on Legal Mechanisms for Government Accountability for the Rule of Law and Access to Justice Working Group for United Nations Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor (2007)