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Nancy Hersh

Founding Partner
nhersh@hershlaw.com
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Phone: 415-441-5544
Fax: 415-441-7586

601 Van Ness Ave #2080
San Francisco, California 94102

Nancy shared the practice with her father LeRoy for over 30 years. Together they built a firm based on essential values that continue to this day. Nancy's accomplishments are recognized by both her clients and her peers. She received the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Lifetime Achievement Award in April 2010, an honor that had never before been awarded to a woman trial lawyer. This award reflects Nancy's career and accomplishments in helping those injured and those who otherwise would have no voice. 

Throughout her career Nancy has been a passionate advocate, using the law to address women's healthcare issues and other areas of social justice. As one of the first woman personal injury lawyers she combines the tenaciousness, determination, and empathy for her clients. These attributes are essential as she has tackled a series of groundbreaking cases including DES Litigation, the first breast implant case to establish the connection between silicone and physical injuries, and the first Diet Drug (Fen-Phen) case filed and settled.

Personal Statement

A native San Franciscan, I am dedicated to using the law to achieve justice.

I was born in San Francisco in 1945 to Belle and LeRoy Hersh (1920-2003), and was raised in the Sunset District. Seeing my father's love for the practice of law, I decided at the age of twelve that I wanted to be a lawyer. My father's love of his clients and his ability to do justice and achieve social change through his profession was an inspiration to me. We have now shared the practice, cases, trials, ideas, and our work lives for over thirty years. It has never been dull.

My father taught me compassion in the practice of law, respect for the individual, promotion of justice, and belief in individuals' rights and the jury system. I learned the art of cross-examination and trial from him. He has learned a little from me, as well - the art of jury selection, how to give an eleven-hour closing argument, and the art of ongoing damages.

I am a strong advocate for women's healthcare issues

I have been interested in women's healthcare issues since I began to practice. At that time - and unfortunately even now - the healthcare system and the drug companies treated women differently than men.

This interest has led me to develop expertise in the areas of medical malpractice involving women, such as obstetrical malpractice, and in the area of drugs and medical devices designed especially for women such as IUDs, DES (the drug given to pregnant women to prevent miscarriage), breast implants, diet drugs, and other such products.

My experiences as one of the first woman personal injury trial lawyers have made me a tougher, better lawyer with more empathy toward those who have suffered any kind of prejudice.

My law school class had a total of 220 students but only 20 women, the largest class of women it had ever had. At the time I attended law school and started to practice, there were many law professors, judges, and lawyers who did not think that women could, or should, practice law.

There were some professors who told me that I was unfairly depriving some worthy young man of a place in the school and that I would practice for a year, get married, have children and quit. They were wrong about the quitting part. Here I am thirty years later!

There were judges who asked me to get coffee for them and the other trial lawyers during trial. There was the judge who told me women should try only divorce cases just as I was about to begin a medical malpractice trial. There were male lawyers who came unglued when confronted by vigorous advocacy by a woman lawyer. And so on. Fortunately, these experiences have dissipated with time, personal success and recognition, and with the entry of many more women into the profession.

Women make very effective trial lawyers, bringing many special qualities that make them great advocates for individual plaintiffs. One of my highest verdicts came when I gave my closing argument nine months pregnant! I am happy and proud to be a woman and a trial lawyer.

Most of all, I love the practice of law, I love a good trial, and I believe in our system of justice.

Education

J.D., University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California, 1970

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1967
Honors: Graduated Phi Beta Kappa Major: Anthropology

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice California, 1971
U.S. District Court
Professional & Bar Association Memberships

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
Member Since: 1979
President

American Board of Trial Advocates

Litigation Percentage

100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Classes/Seminars Taught

Law Professor, Teaching, Personal Injury Litigation, Hastings College of the Law

Honors and Awards
  • Lawdragon 500 Guide of Leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers, 2007 - Present
  • California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Award, 2006 - Present
  • One of Northern California's Super Lawyers, Law & Politics Magazine, 2005 - Present
  • One of Northern California's Super Lawyers, Law & Politics Magazine, 2006 - Present
  • One of Northern California's Super Lawyers, Law & Politics Magazine, 2007 - Present
  • One of Northern California's Super Lawyers, Law & Politics Magazine, 2008 - Present
  • One of the Top Fifty Women Litigators in California, Daily Journal
  • One of Northern California's Super Lawyers, Law & Politics Magazine, 2009 - Present
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association 2010
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