With over 20 years of diverse legal experience, Ms. Roche applies her in-depth knowledge and understanding of law firms and legal ethics to help her clients understand and resolve the critical issues they face every day and implement the right solutions for the future. She is a trusted advisor to law firms, in-house legal departments, technology companies, and law-related businesses, providing insight, analysis, and counsel in the following areas:
Law Firm General Counsel and Legal Ethics
Serves as an outside General Counsel to California law firms and inhouse legal departments on legal ethics, compliance, and practice management, providing practical advice and counsel to identify and resolve complex issues and implement best practices for risk management.
Law-Related Business Counsel
Counsels and advises law-related businesses, alternative legal service providers, and technology companies operating in the legal industry on a variety of complex compliance, regulatory, ownership, and operations issues, including analysis of entity structures, business models, regulatory risks, and key business documents.
Law Firm formation, structures, and transitions
Counsels and advises California law firms on strategic business issues, including developing and drafting key law firm documents, executing law firm start-up planning and growth planning, managing law firm sales and mergers, advising on partner or group departures, succession planning, law firm dissolutions, and termination of partnerships.
Ms. Roche began her legal career as a litigator and trial attorney in San Francisco, handling a wide variety of commercial disputes and complex litigation matters and acting as both first and second chair in numerous jury trials and arbitration hearings.
In 2007, she co-founded O’Rielly & Roche LLP with a healthy dose of hard work and enthusiasm in order to build a platform to better serve law firm and business clients. Today, the firm has emerged as an industry leader in the law of lawyering in California, with an exclusive focus on providing law firms, in-house legal departments, and law-related businesses the support and answers they need to succeed. She has unparalleled experience in counseling law firms in all areas of law firm practice management – firm formation, structuring and growth strategies, legal ethics counsel, practice and risk management, and law firm transitions, including partner separations and law firm dissolutions. Ms. Roche also works as outside counsel to in-house legal departments and technology companies who need legal ethics subject matter expertise or assistance with a variety of general counsel duties.
Ms. Roche’s unique blend of experience with law firms, in-house legal departments, and law practice management, coupled with her deep background in legal ethics — she is the past Advisor and former Chair of the State Bar of California’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (“COPRAC”), and is actively involved in the California and national ethics community — sets her apart from other practitioners in her field. She uses her distinct background and experiences to help her clients navigate and resolve their most complex problems, and provides real-world, practical advice they can trust and rely on.
Ms. Roche also serves as a consultant and expert witness on legal and ethical issues related to law firm departures and attorney transitions. She is also a certified mediator who conducts mediations and acts as a neutral throughout California, with an emphasis on resolving business and law firm partnership-related disputes.
Ms. Roche is also a Lecturer at Berkeley Law where she teaches a course on legal ethics and professional responsibility.
Our firm’s exclusive focus and dedication to understanding the legal, ethical and risk management issues that law firms and lawyers face every day is what makes us unique. Our wide-ranging experience gives us the ability to tackle problems creatively, efficiently and with discretion, giving those we serve a distinct advantage.”
University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D., 1997
Occidental College, Advanced B.A., in English and Comparative Literature, 1992
California State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC)
California Lawyers Association, Law Practice Management and Technology
Bar Association of San Francisco, Legal Ethics Committee
Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL)
American Bar Association, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
The Changing Culture of Law Firm Practice and Managing Law Firm Departures, PilotLegis Risk Prevention Group, Mid-Year Member Program, 2022.
Recent Developments in Legal Ethics-What You Need to Know, Panelist, State Bar of California 2022 Ethics Symposium
Recent Developments in Legal Ethics-What You Need to Know, Moderator and Panelist, State Bar of California 2021 Ethics Symposium
New Ethics Rules that May Impact Your Practice the Most, Presenter, Zoom MCLE for Berkeley-Albany Bar Association
Ethical Duties When Leaving and Joining Law Firms, Presenter, OCBA, MCLE
Your Law Firm Culture Should Protect the Firm from Partner Departures, Partner Departure Law Blog
What to Expect When You’re Departing, Partner Departure Law Blog
Why Your Law Firm Needs a Lawyer, Partner Departure Law Blog
5 Law Firms Events that Can Trigger Partner Departures, Partner Departure Law Blog
Which Law Firm Partners Should Stay and Which Should Go?, Partner Departure Law Blog
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit