SOURCE: Hirschfeld Kraemer

October 30, 2013 17:18 ET

Former California State University System General Counsel Christine Helwick Joins Hirschfeld Kraemer

California Labor and Employment Firm Boosts Offerings, Continues Focus on Higher Education Institutions

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 30, 2013) - Most recently general counsel and secretary for the California State University (CSU) system and former managing university counsel for the University of California (UC) system, Christine Helwick has joined Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP as of counsel and a key member of its Higher Education Law Practice.

"Chris is truly one of the nation's foremost experts on higher education law, policy and operations," said Stephen J. Hirschfeld, co-managing partner of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP. "With nearly 30 years on campus, she has literally seen and worked through it all -- from the highest-level conflicts involving university presidents and boards to the complexities of establishing satellite operations overseas to the conflicts that arise between colleges and their local communities. The experience and resources Chris brings to higher education clients is unmatched."

Helwick advises college and university presidents, boards of directors, provosts and other senior administrators on issues such as: board governance; legal compliance; conflict of interest; town/gown relationships and conflicts; effective division of governance functions between faculty and senior administrators; campus expansion and the creation of satellite campuses -- both domestic and international; and gifts, donor relations and naming rights, among many other issues.

"I've long known and respected Hirschfeld Kraemer as a premier labor and employment firm for universities," said Helwick. "At this point in my career, I'm excited about the opportunity to work with a broader client base, including smaller colleges that don't have the benefit of an experienced general counsel, and to be in a position to take on the thorniest, highest-level issues facing institutions of higher education."

Helwick spent 17 years as general counsel and secretary for the CSU system, working with three chancellors during her tenure and earning the distinction of one of the "Best Legal Departments in the United States" from Corporate Counsel magazine in 2013. For 17 years prior to joining CSU, she worked for the UC system as managing university counsel - litigation in Office of the General Counsel (1984 - 94), campus counsel for UC Berkeley (1989 - 94) and in an assistant general counsel capacity (1978 - 84).

Helwick is a former president (2002 - 03) and board of directors member (2001 - 07) of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and was honored with the organization's "Distinguished Service Award" in 2007. She served two terms on the board of directors for the National Association of College and University Business Officers and is a past recipient of the Fulbright Award for Higher Education Administrators.

"Colleges and universities are facing unprecedented challenges thanks to decreasing budgets and increasing demands for efficiency and transparency. Interested stakeholders, from government entities to donors and alumni, are placing more pressure on institutions than ever before," said Glen E. Kraemer, co-managing partner of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP. "Chris brings a broad strategic view and an authenticity that can only be cultivated through having 'been there and done that' repeatedly. In higher education, experience matters as the stakes are just too high to dabble."

Helwick is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1973), Northwestern University (M.A., 1969) and Stanford University (B.A., 1968).

About Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP

Hirschfeld Kraemer is a California-based labor and employment firm with offices in Northern and Southern California and Reno, Nevada. It is the exclusive California and Northern Nevada member of the Employment Law Alliance -- the world's largest network of labor and employment lawyers. Hirschfeld Kraemer only represents employers, and it only advises them on one thing -- the employer-employee relationship. Clients include cities, counties and institutions of higher education in addition to Fortune 500 companies. In higher education alone, the firm represents more than 140 colleges and universities, both in the United States and abroad. The firm's driving principle is to deliver practical, no-nonsense employment and labor counsel. On the Web at: http://www.HKemploymentlaw.com.

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