Valerie Brender

Associate Attorney

Location: San Francisco, California Phone: 415-­421-1800 ext. 212 Fax: 415-421-1700 Email: Email Me

Valerie Brender is an associate at Rukin Hyland.  She litigates class and collective action employment law cases, including misclassification, wage and hour, and discrimination cases. She also advises executives on employment and severance agreements during job transitions and litigates individual civil rights, wrongful termination, and whistleblower cases.  

Prior to joining the firm, Valerie was a research fellow at Human Rights Watch. Valerie graduated from New York University School of Law where she worked on human rights litigation as a summer law clerk at Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP, in Los Angeles and at the ACLU’s Center for Democracy in New York. Prior to law school, Valerie was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama and a Fulbright Scholar in Spain. She earned her B.A. from Wake Forest University.



Representative Cases and Experience

  • Drafted and argued successful oppositions to 12(b)(6) motions;
  • Co-drafted successful 216(b) collective action certification motion in wage and hour case;
  • Co-drafted class certification motions in independent contractor misclassification wage and hour cases;
  • Drafted successful motion to compel in a disability discrimination/failure to accommodate proposed class action against a major hospital network;
  • Drafted and argued numerous successful discovery dispute letter briefs;
  • Represented students in Unruh Act claims against a university through resolution.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2014
  • New York, 2014


  • “Don’t Raze The Middle Class Raise,” The Hill (September 22, 2016)
  • Co-Author, “NLRA in the 21st Century,” Daily Journal (June 9, 2016)
  • “Gig economy may have to wait for answers,” Daily Journal (May 5, 2016)
  • “No Money, No Justice”: Police Corruption and Abuse in Liberia, Human Rights Watch, August 2013
  • Economic Transformations in Chile: the Formation of the Chicago Boys, The American Economist, Spring 2010
  • Review for the NYU Journal of International Law & Politics: Our Nation Unhinged: The Human Consequences of the War on Terror by Peter Jan Honigsberg, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 2009
  • Blogger for the Huffington Post.


  • New York University School of Law (J.D. 2012)
    • Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar
    • Institute for International Law and Justice Scholar
    • Eric Dean Bender Prize (2012), awarded for commitment to public service
    • Sol D. Kapelsohn Prize (2012), for highest excellence in writing in the field of labor law
  • Wake Forest University (B.A. 2006)
    • Magna cum laude
    • Honors in Economics

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Who Is An Employer In The Gig Economy?,” sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco (September 20, 2016)

Professional Activities

  • Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF)
  • National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA)

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish