Jump to Navigation

Therese M. Lawless

Therese M. Lawless

San Francisco, California

Therese Lawless is a partner in the law firm of Lawless & Lawless where she practices employment law on behalf of employees. Ms. Lawless is a former president of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. She is a member and past board member of the Consumer Attorneys of California and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers' Association and the California Employment Lawyers' Association.

Ms. Lawless has practiced employment law exclusively on behalf of employees since 1988. She has litigated hundreds of employment and civil rights cases and has achieved substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of her clients. Ms. Lawless frequently lectures and speaks on employment law matters and has written numerous articles for professional publications.

Ms. Lawless earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1982. In 1986, she graduated Order of the Coif from George Washington University where she was an editor on the law review. Ms. Lawless clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson from 1986 to 1987. She then briefly worked for a large Boston law firm, Gaston& Snow, before deciding to join her partner and sister, Barbara Lawless, in San Francisco.

In 2000, Ms. Lawless was awarded the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers' Association. She was a top ten finalist for the California Consumer Attorney of the Year Award in 2002.

Ms. Lawless was named one of the top plaintiff employment lawyers in San Francisco by The Recorder legal newspaper in 2004.  She has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer annually from 2004 through 2012.  In 2007 and 2013, she was named one of the top 50 Northern California female attorneys.  Also, in 2007, The American Association of Justice (AAJ), awarded Lawless & Lawless the Distinguished Law Firm Award.  Most recently, in 2012, Lawless & Lawless was named one of the top ten plaintiff employment law firms in San Francisco by The Recorder legal newspaper.


Areas of Practice

  • Wrongful Termination Law
  • Employment Discrimination Law
  • Sexual Harassment

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1987
  • Massachusetts, 1987


  • George Washington University National Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
    • J.D. - 1986
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
    • Law Review: George Washington Law Review, Notes Editor, 1985 - 1986
  • Cornell University
    • B.S. - 1982


  • "Protecting Clients' Privacy and Privilege Rights", San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association November 27, 2012
  • "How New Developments Are Shaping Employment Law", Commonwealth Club Roundtable, September 24, 2012
  • "Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession", San Mateo County Bar Association’s Funky Credit Day XII. Burlingame, CA, January 21, 2011
  • "The Essential Trial Toolbox", San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, June 8, 2010
  • "Managing Your Client's Expectations", National Employment Lawyers Association Convention. Rancho Mirage, CA, June 26, 2009
  • "Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation" and "Employment Litigation: Plaintiff and Defense Perspective" "Fundamentals of Employment Law Practice", Continuing Education of the Bar, California, November 1, 2008
  • "Common Evidence Issues: How to Impress the Judge, Jury and Scare the Hell Out of Your Opponent." "The 5 Issues of Evidence We Love or Hate the Most", San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, March 11, 2008
  • "Work Place Investigations: What Every Employer and Employee Should Know (And Do)", Annual Meeting of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California, Claremont Resort & Spa, Berkeley, California, October 18, 2007 - October 20, 2007
  • "Masters Seminar: How to Succeed in San Mateo County Despite Conservative Juries", Consumer Attorneys of California College of Trial Arts and San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association, Burlingame, CA, September 27, 2007
  • "Depositions: A Key Discovery Tool", California Employment Lawyers Association. San Francisco, CA Seminar, July 27, 2007
  • "Engaging in the Resolution Discussion", Seminar Web Live! Consumer Attorneys of California, May 22, 2007
  • "Closing Arguments by the Masters", San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, June 13, 2006

Honors and Awards

  • San Francisco Trial Lawyer of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2000
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004 - 2012
  • Named Top 50 Northern California Female Attorneys, 2007
  • Distinguished Law Firm Award, Women Trial Lawyers Caucus of the AAJ
  • Top 10 Plaintiff Employment Law Firm in San Francisco, 2012, The Recorder legal newspaper
  • SuperLawyers, 2013
  • Top 50 -- Women Northern California, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of California, Member
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Board, 1999 - Present
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, President, 2004
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board, 1997
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Member
  • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Honorable Warren J. Ferguson, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Clerk, 1986 - 1987
  • Gaston & Snow, Associate, 1987 - 1988
Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

Lawless & Lawless
180 Montgomery Street, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94104

Toll-Free 800-488-1913
Fax 415-391-4228
E-mail Us | San Francisco Law Office Map