Linda Shostak recently retired from a 43-year career as a nationally recognized litigator and trial lawyer at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. Linda was a pioneer and innovator at her firm Morrison and Foerster—the second woman to make partner, the first woman to lead a department, the first woman to chair the partnership review committee, and the first woman member of the firm’s partner compensation committee. She was the longest tenured female lawyer and partner in the firm’s history. Linda has been a dedicated mentor and teacher to younger lawyers both within the firm and throughout the larger legal community. She is a role model for a wider, more inclusive vision of effective advocacy.
Linda has been involved in litigation about discrimination for both plaintiffs and defendants, including some of the largest class action lawsuits ever tried. She has secured notable civil rights victories in a range of settings. Among her pro bono activities, she is most proud of her work protecting the constitutional right to abortion where she led the legal team that established an enduring court precedent for access to abortion. In American Academy of Pediatrics v. Lungren, the California Supreme Court held that a state statute requiring unwed minors to get parental approval or the consent of the Juvenile Court before obtaining an abortion was unconstitutional, violating the right to privacy guaranteed by Article 1 of the California Constitution.
Linda was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and is the most recent recipient of ADL’s Distinguished Jurisprudence award.