About Xinying Valerian

        With expertise in employment law and dedication to meeting my client's goals, I am proud to advocate for workers and whistleblowers throughout California. I earned my undergraduate degree with high honors from Harvard University, worked as a community organizer, and then graduated with high honors from New York University School of Law. My law background is marked by a commitment to social justice and broad experience in federal and state court litigation, including complex class litigation, as well as counseling and representation of individuals facing hardships.


        While at NYU, I trained in the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, where I advocated for living wage legislation for domestic workers and represented an immigrant in federal deportation proceedings. As a volunteer for Law Students for Human Rights, I led a team of students in drafting an international law amicus brief in a Guantanamo detainee case. As a law student, I clerked at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid at Work) in San Francisco for its National Origin, Immigration, and Language Rights Program, and for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project in New York.

        I received training in federal court by clerking for a federal district judge in Los Angeles for two years and I learned state court practice when I represented low-income families as a staff attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid for three years. While at Bay Area Legal Aid, I represented tenants, homeowners and consumers and advocated for government policies and initiatives to help low-income communities suffering from the foreclosure crisis.

        Most recently, I worked for five years at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national public interest litigation firm. There, I represented blue-collar and white-collar workers, from immigrant low-wage workers to engineers to lawyers and executives, in discrimination, wage and hour, and whistleblower cases. I led hard-fought, cutting edge cases against large companies and coordinated teams of talented attorneys and legal assistants. I also worked for the San Francisco class action firm Ram Olson Cereghino & Kopczynski, representing consumers and journalists. 

        In private practice, I am continuing my commitment to training junior attorneys, law students and legal assistants in public interest legal practice. I advise the national nonprofit civil rights organization, Equal Rights Advocates, as a member of the Litigation Committee, and am active in the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

        On the personal front, I was born in Shanghai, China. I grew up in the Bay Area attending public schools in Berkeley, Albany, and Lafayette. I am proud to be bilingual and bicultural, and for that I credit my mother, who raised me single-handedly while studying at UC Berkeley.  In Chinese, I go by “Attorney Xinying” (欣颖律师. Last but not least, I am the proud mama of two small children who challenge me every day to be my very best. 


J.D.  New York University School of Law, 2007, magna cum laude
B.A.  Harvard College, 2003, magna cum laude


Honorable A. Howard Matz, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


California state courts

Central District of California 
Northern District of California 
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit



  • April 2021 - "PAGA Trials" at PAGA Workshop 2021, Bridgeport Continuing Education 

  • October 2020 - "Taking Critical Depositions During a Pandemic," Annual Conference of the California Employment Lawyers Association

  • July 2020 - "PAGA Claims" webinar for the Alameda County Bar Association

  • May 2020 – "PAGA Trials" at PAGA Workshop 2020, Bridgeport Continuing Education 

  • 2017 CELA Torch Award, California Employment Lawyers Association

  • October 2017 – “PAGA Today and PAGA Tomorrow: Moderate-Advanced Issues in PAGA Litigation,” Annual Conference of the California Employment Lawyers Association

  • 2016, 2017 – Northern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers Magazine

  • March 2017 – “Finding Your Path – Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Law,” Chinese American Lawyers of the Bay Area

  • October 2016 – Guest Lecturer on class action bans in arbitration clauses for UC Hastings College of Law’s online course on consumer law