Mary T. Hernández

equity partner and founder

Mary T. Hernández is a founding partner of Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP and heads the San Francisco Bay Area office. Hernández serves as legal counsel to school, county and community college districts as well as nonprofit organizations and charter schools throughout California.

Hernández’s clients include the Alameda County Office of Education, EJE Academy Charter Schools, Gilroy Unified School District, Hayward Unified School District, John Swett Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, California Association for Bilingual Education, Fairview Fire Protection District, San Leandro Unified School District, the Latino Business Action Network, and the National Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Hernández represented nine school districts in the Coachella Valley Unified School District vs. State of California litigation challenging California’s method of testing the academic achievement of English learners for purposes of No Child Left Behind. She also serves as San Francisco Unified School District’s legal counsel in the Lau Consent Decree.

General Counsel services, labor and employment, board governance, student equity, special education, contracts, charter schools, ethics, limited English proficient and immigrant students, and sexual harassment prevention.

Law School:
Stanford University.

Practice Regions:
State of California and U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

Former school board member, San Francisco Unified School District.

Adjunct professor, co-teaching Education Law for Equity in Preliminary Administrative Credential program at California State University, Hayward.

Served as a Title III expert witness in a high profile federal criminal trial.

Former adjunct professor for contract writing courses at Hastings College of the Law.

Community Involvement:
Board Member of the California Bar Foundation

Mentor, English Learner Leadership and Legacy Initiative

Past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Member of Hispanic National Bar Association’s Commission on “The Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession.”

Board Member, Friends of the Mission Campus

Co-Chair, San Francisco Tardeada Planning Committee, California Rural Legal Assistance

Practice Areas


"I am passionate about education equity and excellence, and love working with my clients."