Mary Grace Guzmán

Professional Responsibility Counsel
Mary Grace advises on a variety of legal ethics and risk management matters.
Mary Grace Guzmán

Mary Grace is a dedicated ethics and professional responsibility attorney, with a proven track record of achievement in individual cases and investigations, program and procedure design, and litigation assistance related to professional misconduct cases. As a thought leader in the area of professional responsibility, she is frequently tapped to speak and write on developing issues in the area and has experience teaching and training on the nuances of the topic. 

Client Work

Representative experience includes:

  • Mary Grace worked on the landmark case that allowed undocumented individuals to become licensed attorneys in California (In Re Garcia [2014] 38 Cal.4th 4440). 

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions


  • “Access to Justice,” Guest Editor, Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine, July 2021 Edition
  •  “Understanding the New-ish Conflicts Rules,” Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) four-part blog series
  • “Ethics are Stubborn Things and the Days of a Cyber Breach being Mainly a Client’s Problem are gone,” with John Stephens, American Bar Association: The Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Fall 2020
  • “IOLTA Rules: Got My Money on My Mind and My Mind on My Money,” Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine, March 2020
  • “Rule 1.18: Guess What? You have a duty to prospective clients,” Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine, February 2019
  •  “Where Do I Deposit My Retainer?” MCLE Self Study: Contra Costa County Bar Association MCLE Spectacular, November 2014
  • “Moral Character: The Other Bar Exam,” The Advocate, with Lindsay Kohut Slatter, April 2013


  • “Understanding California’s New Conflicts of Interest Rules,” CEB (2021)
  • “Negotiation Ethics at Mediation,” Contra Costa Bar Association (2021)
  • “Dollars & Sense,” San Francisco Bar Association (2020)
  • “Law Firm Practice Management, Covid19, and Social Distancing,” CEB (2020)
  • “Breaches, Rules and Ethics,” Lavender Bar (2020)
  • “Diversity and Implicit Bias Rule 8.4.1,” Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (2020)
  • “Ethics and Risk Management for Solos and Small Firms,” CEB (2019)
  • “Ethical Dilemmas at Mediation,” Alameda County Bar Association (2019)
  • “Attorney Malpractice and Insurance,” Asian American Bar Association of the Bay Area (2018)
  • “The New Rules of Professional Conduct – What You NEED to Know!” with Jerome Fishkin, Contra Costa County Bar Association (2018)
  • “Legal Ethics Refresher,” San Mateo Bar Association (2017)
  • “Trials 101: Civil Pretrial Case Management,” Contra Costa Bar Association (2017)
  • “Ethics 101,” The Bar Association of San Francisco (2017)
  • “Moral Character: The Other Bar Exam,” Santa Clara University, School of Law (2016)
  • “Internet Presence and Attorneys,” Contra Costa Bar Association (2016)
  • “General Ethics,” American Immigration Lawyers Association of Northern California (AILA) (2016)
  •  “General Ethics for Employment Attorneys” Santa Clara Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Association (2012–2015)
  • “Ethics for New Lawyers,” Contra Costa Bar Association (2012–2015)
  • “Investing in the Future of Diversity: Building a Better Law Practice,” Contra Costa Bar Association (2012–2015)


  • Rising Star Award, Super Lawyers (2015–2020)
  • Commitment to Justice Award, Association of Discipline Defense Counsel (2014)
  • Entrepreneur on the Rise Award, Contra Costa County Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment (2012)

Professional Activities 

  • CEB Practice Area Expert – Legal Ethics, Risk Management, and Professional Responsibilities
  • Adjunct Professor, Professional Responsibility, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego, CA)
  • Adjunct Professor, Professional Responsibility, John F. Kennedy School of Law (Pleasant Hill, CA)
  • Languages
  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • California Bar
  • Education
    Santa Clara University School of Law, JD, Social Justice Public Interest Certificate, CALI Awards Social Justice and Race and the Law, 2008
    University of California, Berkeley, BA, 1996