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After brief hibernation, Speier lands law firm gig

By rgordon
Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 at 3:44 pm in Uncategorized.

After being termed out of office in November, former Democratic state Sen. Jackie Speier has emerged from hibernation with a new title: Jackie Speier, Esq.

Jackie SpeierToday Speier launched the next chapter of her life as an attorney at Hanson Bridgett Marcus Vlahos & Rudy LLP, a law firm with offices in San Francisco, Sacramento and Larkspur.

According to a press release, Speier will work in the San Francisco office for the firm’s Public Agency practice. She will have a “crossover role with clients throughout the firm” in areas that have regular government dealings, such as business, transportation, health care, real estate, and senior housing and care. She will also assist “Hanson Bridgett’s continuing effort to help provide a peer review for the doctors serving in the prison healthcare system.”

In some ways, the move is surprising.

In November, Speier told the Insider she planned to be a stay-at-home mom for three months, making sandwiches and volunteering at the library. Beyond that, she emphasized that she did not know what the future held, but floated ideas of consulting and forming an institute for the “enhanced governance of governance.” The scuttlebutt in some circles was that Speier might end up in a leadership role for the California Democratic Party or run for Congress.

Lately she has been busy promoting her book, This is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 ways to keep your head above water when life keeps dragging you down. Co-written with three other women, including former Evening Magazine host Jan Yanehiro, it is a collection of stories and advice for facing extraordinary life challenges. (In fact, Speier will be the guest star of the Burlingame Library Foundation’s Authors Luncheon on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Crystal Springs Golf Course in Burlingame. Tickets for the fundraiser are $65.)

But in other ways, the move to a shiny attorney profile on Hanson Bridgett’s Web site is no surprise at all. Speier spent six years on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, 10 years in the Assembly and 8 years in the Senate, which is a long time to make friends in powerful law firms.

The head of the firm’s Public Agency practice is Joan Cassman, whose circle has undoubtedly overlapped with Speier’s. Millbrae’s city attorney, Cassman also provides counsel for several regional transportation agencies, including the San Mateo County Transit District. Speier, as you may recall, secured funding for service improvements to Caltrain that earned her a baby bullet train bearing her name. Cassman and Speier graduated just one year apart from each other from UC Hastings College of the Law.

Furthermore, this is not the first time the firm has enticed a major political figure to its ranks during his or her off season. According to its press release, the firm has a “tradition of hiring major political figures, with associated contacts and ability to get things done.” Former San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, former California Attorney General Tom Lynch and state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, have all been on the firm’s payroll.

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