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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 districts as well as nonprofit organizations and charter schools and other special districts throughout California.

Hernández’s clients include the Gilroy Unified School District, Hayward Unified School District, John Swett Unified School District, Napa Valley Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, San Leandro Unified School District and Williams Unified School District, as well as the California Association for Bilingual Education, EJE Academy Charter Schools and Fairview Fire Protection District.

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.

Mary received her Juris Doctorate from Stanford University, during which time she spent a semester in Sydney, Australia working for the New South Wales Branch of the Australian Labour Party and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, during which time she spent a semester in London working for a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons.

General Counsel services, labor and employment, labor negotiations, board governance, student equity/civil rights, 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 elected member and President of Board of Education, 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 Cal Bar Affinity, Inc.

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

Practice Areas


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