Lori Rifkin is a partner at the civil rights litigation firm of Hadsell Stormer & Renick, LLP. Ms. Rifkin litigates both individual and class actions in state and federal court, from pre-litigation through the appellate process. Ms. Rifkin represents people in matters involving discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, and/or age. Ms. Rifkin also specializes in representing juveniles and adults in civil rights cases concerning police misconduct and jail or prison conditions.
Ms. Rifkin has worked on a range of groundbreaking cases, including: class action litigation challenging overcrowding and inadequate mental health treatment in California's state prison system; a challenge by the United States Department of Justice to the school-to-prison pipeline in Mississippi; and cases fighting for recognition of same-sex relationships in Connecticut and California.
Before joining the firm in 2016, Ms. Rifkin ran Rifkin Law Office, a civil rights law practice based in Oakland, California. There, she successfully litigated claims on behalf of families whose loved ones died from failure to provide medical or mental health treatment in jails and prisons, incarcerated persons subjected to excessive force and abuse, children harassed and discriminated against in schools and educational environments, and employees fired or retaliated against for discriminatory reasons.
Prior to founding Rifkin Law Office, Ms. Rifkin worked as a Senior Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). At the DOJ, Ms. Rifkin specialized in matters involving jail and prison conditions, police misconduct, juvenile justice, and access to reproductive rights clinics. She also served on the Civil Rights Division's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) Workgroup, advising the DOJ on LGBTI issues.
Ms. Rifkin's previous experience also includes:
• Staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Unions (ACLU) of Connecticut and Southern California, handling a broad range of civil rights matters from the First Amendment to criminalization of homeless and mentally ill populations to same-sex relationship recognition;
• Associate at the San Francisco civil rights law firm Rosen, Bien & Galvan, LLP, litigating complex class actions in state and federal courts, including representing prisoners and parolees in the California prison system; and
• Attorney at the San Francisco-based Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, focusing on employment issues involving discrimination on the basis of sex, pregnancy, and gender identity.
Ms. Rifkin was named to the Northern California Super Lawyers List as a Super Lawyer in 2016 and as a Rising Star in 2014 and 2015. In 2012, Ms. Rifkin was named one of the best lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. In 2010, Ms. Rifkin was a Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist.
Ms. Rifkin graduated from New York University School of Law in 2004 and Harvard College in 2000.
Areas of Practice
- Discrimination or Harassment
- Class Actions
- Constitutional Law
- Civil Rights
- New York University School of Law, New York, New York - 2004
- Harvard College - 2000
Honors and Awards
- Named to the Northern California Super Lawyers List as a Super Lawyer, 2017
- Rising Star, 2014 and 2015
- Named as one of the best lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association, 2012
- Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist, 2010
Past Employment Positions
- Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Senior Trial Attorney
- American Civil Liberties Unions (ACLU), Staff attorney
- Rosen, Bien & Galvan, LLP, Associate
- Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, San Francisco, Attorney
- Rifkin Law Office, Principal