J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law, Ranked in Top 5%, Order of the Coif
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Psychology with a Minor in Global Studies, Cum Laude
Cornell University, Diversity and Inclusion Certificate, July 2020
NACUA Title IX Coordinator Certificate
NASPA Title IX Coordinator Track Certificate
NASPA Informal Resolution Certificate
National Association of College and University Attorneys
California, # 278030
Ashley N. Emerzian is a founding shareholder of Emerzian Shankar Legal Inc., providing advisory business and employment law services and serving as general counsel to the firm’s school, business and non-profit clients.
For private sector business and non-profit clients, Ms. Emerzian aims to serve as a trusted advisor and long-term business partner. Ms. Emerzian emphasizes client goals and outside the box thinking to develop creative solutions. Ms. Emerzian seeks to learn about her business client’s objectives and aligns transactional and advisory legal services with desired results. She regularly advises such clients regarding compliance with state and federal employment laws and consults regarding business and employment contracts, and policies and procedures.
For education sector clients, Ms. Emerzian is experienced at serving in the role of the institutions general counsel, and advises on student and employee complaint investigations, academic and non-academic employee discipline and due process rights, student conduct and dismissal, and compliance with the federal education law compliance, including Title IX and the Higher Education Act. Ms. Emerzian assists education institutions with responding to labor union grievances and mediations, as well as unfair labor practice complaints. Ms. Emerzian is also an experienced negotiator and sits at the bargaining table on behalf of management advising on negotiations strategies, bargaining proposals and related media communications. Ms. Emerzian is trained in traditional negotiations strategies and is also certified in interest-based bargaining techniques. Additionally, Ms. Emerzian has extensive knowledge of CalSTRS and CalPERS laws.
Ms. Emerzian graduated cum laude from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Global Studies. During college, Ms. Emerzian served as a trained crisis counselor for UCLA Peer Helpline, and worked as a research assistant at UCLA Medical Center. She also studied abroad in Spain and China.
Ms. Emerzian subsequently earned her law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. Ashley graduated in the top 5% of her law school class and is an elected member of the prestigious Order of the Coif, which recognizes individuals who achieve a high degree of scholarship as law students. During law school, Ashley participated in the Moot Court and Trial Practice programs, received the UC Davis Public Interest Law Certificate and was honored with Witkin Awards for academic excellence in the areas of Property Law, Juvenile Law and Reproductive Health Law. Ms. Emerzian also served as a teaching assistant both at the law school and in UC Davis’ political science department. Ms. Emerzian gained significant work experience as an intern during law school with the Yolo County Public Defender’s office, the California Department of Justice and two Sacramento civil litigation firms. She also served as the fundraising chair and treasurer for UC Davis School of Law’s La Raza Law Students Association.
Once admitted to practice she began working as a business litigation associate at a local mid-size law firm. Thereafter, Ms. Emerzian transitioned to an advisory and transactional practice with a large state-wide law firm, where she served as labor, employment and general counsel for many schools and colleges. Ms. Emerzian was promoted to Senior Counsel at that firm before taking a unique opportunity to go in-house with a local family of companies. As an in-house attorney, Ms. Emerzian expanded her practice in the areas of private sector employment, business, and higher education law.
For 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021, Ms. Emerzian was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine. Each year less than two and a half percent of lawyers in California receive this designation.
Ms. Emerzian was also named as one of Fresno’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2018.
Born and raised in Fresno, Ms. Emerzian is a Bullard High School graduate. After college and law school, Ms. Emerzian returned home to be close to family. Ms. Emerzian is married to her husband Brian, also a Fresno native, and the two enjoy spending time on California’s Central Coast for frequent get-aways. They have two big dogs, Grizzly and Bubs, both rescued from local shelters.
Ms. Emerzian is driven to give back to her community and regularly volunteers her time to local causes. Ms. Emerzian previously served as a board member for Fresno County Young Lawyers Association (2012-2014) and was appointed to represent the Central Valley on the state-wide California Young Lawyers Association (2013-2016). She is a founding member of the UC Davis School of Law Fresno County Alumni Network.
From 2013-2019, Ms. Emerzian served as a board member for Fresno Barrios Unidos (“FBU”), a local non-profit focusing on programming to assist youth in overcoming barriers to success in health, education and civic engagement. Ms. Emerzian served as FBU’s board president for three years, including during transition of its long-standing executive director and the hiring of new leadership.