Jayne W. Williams


Jayne Williams is the Assistant to the City Attorney for the City of San Leandro, having previously served as the City Attorney for almost ten years. Jayne also previously served as City Attorney for the City of Suisun City and as Interim City Attorney for the cities of Stockton and Merced. A former Managing Principal of Meyers Nave, she now heads the firm’s Crisis Management: Public Policy, Ethics and Investigations Practice Group.
Jayne led the Meyers Nave team in the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) confidential internal affairs investigation of the officer-involved shooting death of Oscar Grant. This New Year’s Day 2008 incident gained public attention throughout the Bay Area and the nation. The investigation reviewed the actions of police officers involved in the incident to determine any potential misconduct.
Before joining Meyers Nave, Jayne served at all levels of city government for the City of Oakland, eventually attaining the City Attorney position, which she held from 1987 to 2000. She began her tenure with the Oakland City Attorney’s office in 1974, specializing in housing and redevelopment. She then served as the City’s Director of Personnel from 1978 to 1980, before returning to the City Attorney’s office as Assistant City Attorney. As Assistant City Attorney, Jayne managed the litigation division of the office. As City Attorney, she directed a staff of 36 attorneys.
Through her career as a practicing public lawyer and leader, Jayne has gained extensive experience and expertise in strategic planning, innovative public project initiatives, and managing and coordinating attorneys throughout complex legal transactions and civil litigation. She is an acknowledged expert in all aspects of the representation of elected and appointed public officials as well as public agencies. She is a past president of the City Attorney’s Division of the League of California Cities, and has served as an elected representative to the executive committee of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and co-chaired the Northern District lawyer representative delegation to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. Jayne is a former member of the executive committee of the Litigation Section of the California State Bar, is a past chair of the executive committee of the State Bar’s Public Law Section, and served as a member of the State Bar’s Commission on the Future of the State Bar and the Legal Profession.
With a strong commitment to public service, Jayne is active in the community and is a member of various civic and professional organizations. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Holy Names University, the San Francisco Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves, the State Board of Directors of Black Women Organized for Political Action, Inc. (BWOPA), and the San Francisco Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., a public service sorority. Additionally, Jayne belongs to various national, state and local bar associations including the National Bar Association (NBA), the California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), the Alameda County Bar Association, the San Francisco Bar Association, the Charles Houston Bar Association and the Black Women Lawyers of Northern California. 
Jayne is a sought-after speaker and community leader. She has given talks for local and national organizations on topics ranging from specific aspects of the law to the importance of public service.

Honors and Awards

  • Northern California “Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers magazine; 2004 - 2010, 2014
  • Honoree, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), “Ella Hill Hutch State Honoree,” 2012
  • Honoree, “2012 Women Leaders in Law,” The Recorder, 2012
  • Honoree, “African American General Counsels,” California Association of Black Lawyers President’s Reception, 2012
  • “Women of Distinction Award,” East Bay Business Times, 2003
  • “Public Lawyer of the Year Award,” Public Law Section of The State Bar of California, 2001
  • “Outstanding Community Service Award,” Wiley Manuel Law Foundation, 2000
  • “Mark of Excellence Award,” National Forum of Black Public Administrators
  • “President’s Award,” Charles Houston Bar Association
  • “Loren Miller Award,” California Association of Black Lawyers
  • “Leadership Award,” Black Women Organized for Political Action, 1999
  • “Clinton W. White Advocacy Award,” 1999
  • “Award of Excellence,” Clara Foltz Feminist Association of Hastings College of the Law, 1998
  • “Black Alumni of the Year,” Hastings College of the Law, 1995

Presentations and Publications

  • Speaker, Women's History Month Celebration, City of San Leandro, 2013
  • Presenter, League of California Cities, Clerks New Law & Elections Seminar, “The Clerk’s Role … Mission Critical,” 2011
  • Presenter, League of California Cities, New Mayors and Council Members Academy, “Your Legal Powers and Obligations,” 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Faculty presenter, San Leandro Annual Leadership Academy, “ The Role of the City Attorney and Brown Act Requirements,” 2005 – 2012
  • Presenter, National Forum of Black Public Administrators Annual Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, “Legal Ethics in the Public Sector,” 2007

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Member, The State Bar of California


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, JD, 1974
  • California State University, East Bay, BA