Jackson Lewis’ JoAnna Brooks Joins Littler Mendelson
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Employment law heavyweight Littler Mendelson, P.C., recently added a key partner to its San Francisco office. JoAnna Brooks joined the Northern California office in a lateral move, bringing her strong background in class action litigation.

Ms. Brooks is the former head of the class action practice group at Jackson Lewis, another San Francisco-based firm, where she worked for 10 years. At Jackson Lewis, Ms. Brooks worked on more than 50 cases in class action litigation, and her extensive experience in the area helps to fill a void at Littler. Her expertise lies in the retail sector, and she has been involved in issues as varied as contract and wage dispute, discrimination and harassment, and other defense-side work. She graduated with honors from Georgetown Law in 1995, where she received Moot Court awards, and earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue in 1992. She holds a membership with the San Francisco Bar Association.


The addition of Ms. Brooks comes on the heels of a string of high-profile laterals to the firm, including Michael Lotito, also formerly of Jackson Lewis. Littler Mendelson has been aggressively expanding in the past year, going after high-caliber attorneys with strong labor and employment backgrounds. With nearly a thousand attorneys and 57 offices worldwide, the law firm is known to be the largest international employment and labor law firm in the world. Littler specializes in servicing management clients on a variety of labor issues.

In a press release, co-presidents Thomas Bender and Jeremy Roth said, “High-profile lateral recruitment is one of the keys to our continued success and we are excited that a top tier labor and employment practitioner of JoAnna’s caliber joins several others Littler has recruited over the last year.” Bender and Roth pointed to the firm’s “global platform, innovative resources, and [the] depth of our subject matter expertise” as the reasons that so many attorneys have recently moved to the firm.

The market for lateral attorneys has long been a competitive one – even more so in the current legal climate. With many firms struggling to maintain enough work to keep attorneys busy, associates are often quick to lateral to other firms, especially if the opportunity seems more lucrative. Many law firms have downsized or capitulated after partner and associate exoduses and poaching by competing firms. The fight to retain and recruit talent has been especially fierce in recent years, as law firms compete against the onslaught of attorneys going in-house or into the public sector during a difficult job market.

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