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 in-house legal departments advising on attorney ethics, compliance, and practice management. Identifies and implements best practices for risk management, including identifying and resolving potential ethics compliance issues and practice management issues.
Law Firm formation, structure, and policies
Counsels and advises California law firms on strategic business issues, including developing and drafting partnership agreements and other firm organizing documents; developing and documenting compensation systems, attorney promotion systems, and retirement systems; developing and executing law firm start-up planning and growth planning.
Law Firm transitions, partner departures, and dissolutions
Counsels and advises California law firms in partner or group departures, acquiring lateral partners or groups, and managing law firm mergers. Counsels and advises law firms on dissolution, winding up, and terminating 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 currently the 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.
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), Advisor (2021-2022), Chair (2020-2021), Vice-Chair (2019-2020), Member (2016-2019)
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
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
Recent Developments in Unauthorized Practice of Law, Moderator and Presenter, State Bar Legal Ethics Symposium, Los Angeles, MCLE
New Rules for Big Law, Presenter, San Francisco, Private, MCLE
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
How Savvy Law Firms Protect Their Firm from Partner Departures, Partner Departure Law Blog
What is your Law Firm Really Worth? Los Angeles Daily Journal
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit