Amy Ackerman, a former senior deputy city attorney with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, joined RPLG as Of Counsel in the spring of 2020.
“Amy quickly became an integral part of our team since joining the firm in May,” said RPLG Founding Partner Art Hartinger. “She brings impressive experience in municipal law and policy development to her work in our government practice.”
Amy, an alumna of the Stanford Law School and Brown University, started her career in public law with the City and County of San Francisco. After five years litigating child welfare cases in both the trial and appellate courts, she moved to the City Attorney’s Government Team, where she drafted legislation, provided legal advice, and engaged in litigation on behalf of a wide array of City departments and agencies, including the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the San Francisco Rent Board, the Office of Citizen Complaints of the San Francisco Police Department and the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.
During her years with the City, Amy was the “sunshine attorney” responsible for coordinating public meetings and public records advice office-wide. She was the first Director of Training for the City Attorney’s Office, where she created a comprehensive training program for deputy city attorneys addressing substantive areas of law and practice skills. Training topics included open government laws, drafting and negotiating contracts, legislative drafting, municipal finance and state preemption. She also had office lawyers working on high-profile matters, such as the gay marriage cases and the establishment of Oracle Park, discuss their legal strategies with the office’s attorneys.
“I loved working as an attorney for San Francisco for all the variety in the work,” said Amy. “Between working with many different departments on many different issues and the constant opportunities to learn, there was never a dull moment.”
After leaving the City Attorney’s Office, Amy worked at the Oakland-based non-profit ChangeLab Solutions. ChangeLab is a national organization that seeks to create healthy communities by implementing equitable laws and policies. Amy worked with cities, counties and states around the country to develop laws and policies improving public health in areas including obesity prevention, tobacco control and healthy housing. She crafted local and school-based policies for the American Heart Association’s nationwide Voices for Healthy Kids campaign, including ordinances requiring children’s meals to meet nutrition standards and requiring that children’s meals come with a healthy beverage as the default option rather than a soda.
While working at ChangeLab, Amy served on the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women.
Before starting at RPLG, Amy returned to government work representing the Human Services Departments of the Counties of Sonoma, Napa and Del Norte in appellate matters. Amy works with a variety of RPLG clients. She serves as General Counsel for the Downtown Community Benefit District, interim Town Attorney for the Town of Corte Madera and provides legal advice to the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and other clients.
“The best thing about my career so far has been the ability to do lots of different kinds of work that contributes to the public interest,” said Amy. “I’ve enjoyed engaging in a variety of government and nonprofit work at RPLG and practicing with my former colleagues from the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.”
RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.