The Marin Lawyer spoke with one of MCBA’s new directors, Emily Charley, to learn more about practicing and living in Marin.

1. What is your practice area?

I am a commercial litigator at the law firm of Hanson Bridgett LLP, with an emphasis on real estate matters. I also serve as Associate General Counsel, ensuring we meet high standards for legal ethics and professional conduct.

2. Do you have a particular emphasis?

I enjoy trial. I started out at the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office knowing I would be in the courtroom every day. When I transferred to civil practice at Hanson Bridgett LLP in 2007, my love of the courtroom was not diminished, and I look for cases that benefit from a trial attorney.

3. Why did you become a lawyer?

I graduated with a biochemistry degree, and was working at UCSF’s Cancer Research Center before heading to veterinary school. Or so I thought. One fateful evening, I got into a debate about civic participation with my older sister. It ended with her smugly recommending I go to law school and then revisit the issue with her. So I did. Given that was my response, I think it is clear law school was where I was meant to be anyway.

4. Why do you live in Marin?

As a Kansan originally, I might not be the ultimate authority on the best locations. But that said, I can’t think of a better place than Marin. It is blessed with both stunning nature and access to big city perks, and you can be a part of a community here. I am friends with my neighbors, I can bike to the store, and my son can color on the sidewalks with chalk.

5. What do you love to do when you’re not practicing law?

This has changed considerably. I used to be a traveler and adventurer, from scuba diving in Sri Lanka to motorcycle racing in Italy to cliff jumping in New Zealand. Now, I enjoy spending time with my five-year old son, Sebastian, and hoping he is not drawn to do the same things I was in my youth!

6. If you could pursue any other career besides law, what would it be and why?

I would be a large wildlife veterinarian who does not get side-tracked by her older sister.

7. Why did you join MCBA?

When I moved to Marin in 2014, I wanted to know my legal community and I wanted to utilize the benefits that membership offered.

8. Why did you become a director?

Having benefited from being a member and been embraced by the legal community, I wanted to participate even more. Hanson Bridgett LLP encourages its staff and attorneys to be as involved as possible, and MCBA seemed an obvious choice.