Jennifer L. Hernandez leads the West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group. She divides her time between the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, and works on projects in Northern and Southern California, as well as the Central Valley. She has achieved national prominence in her work on brownfields redevelopment, wetlands and endangered species, as well as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). She represents a broad variety of private, nonprofit and public sector clients, including real estate developers, public agencies and operating companies in numerous industries.
Ms. Hernandez serves on the firm's Directors Committee and was the first West Coast lawyer and first Latina awarded the firm's highest honor for her professional, pro bono and community achievements.
Ms. Hernandez chairs a conference on Climate Change Law in California and has written and spoken extensively on major California climate change laws (including AB 32, SB 375 and SB 97) as well as emerging climate change regulations and guidance documents. Her climate change practice includes integrating climate change requirements into the environmental analyses (relating to greenhouse gas emissions as well as water supply, flood and fire risk, and other topical areas) required by the CEQA for new and modified projects and plans. She also advises clients on legislative and regulatory proceedings pending in Sacramento, in various regional air districts, and in Climate Action Plans and other land use policies being developed by cities and counties. Ms. Hernandez has achieved a "Band 1" ranking from Chambers USA in the fields of environmental and zoning/land use law, and was recognized as the San Francisco Bay Area's top environmental law litigator in 2015 by Best Lawyers.
She has written three books and more than 50 articles on environmental and land use law. She received several professional awards, including a California Lawyer of the Year award for a land use and conservation agreement between her client (the state's largest private landowner) and several major environmental groups including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council. She also received the American Planning Association Award for her book, "A Practical Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act" and the Greenlining Institute's "Big Brain Award" for developing a "New Paradigm that Intersects Environmental and Inner-City Economic and Health Goals." Mayor Willie Brown proclaimed October 9, 2002, as "Jennifer Hernandez Day in San Francisco" for her work on sustainable land use and for being a "warrior on the brownfield."
She has taught land use and environmental law for the University of California and Stanford Law School and frequently speaks for client and lawyer professional associations and continuing education seminars.
Ms. Hernandez was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a trustee for the San Francisco Presidio. She served as outside counsel to then-Mayor Jerry Brown in the successful no-cost conveyance of the former Naval Depot to the City of Oakland during the first term of President George W. Bush. Ms. Hernandez serves on the boards of directors of Sustainable Conservation and California Forward. She is a former board member of the California League of Conservation Voters (where her 20-year tenure as a board member overlapped with fellow board member Nick Josefowitz). She also co-founded a brownfields redevelopment company and served as board chair and general counsel until it was sold to an international environmental remediation firm.
Ms. Hernandez is a fourth generation Californian. She was raised in Pittsburg, California, where her father and both grandfathers spent their careers as steelworkers with U.S. Steel. She lives with her husband and son in the San Francisco Bay area.
Publications - Books:
Publications - Articles (Partial List):
Please note that email communications to the firm through this website do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send any privileged or confidential information to the firm through this website. Click "accept" below to confirm that you have read and understand this notice.