Michelle G. Lee

Michelle G. Lee

San Francisco, California

Ms. Lee represents employees in individual and class action litigation in a range of employment matters.  She is experienced in wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, breach of contract, and trade secrets matters.  She also represents individuals in negotiations outside of litigation.

Ms. Lee has tried complex cases in court and arbitration, including serving as second chair on the trial team in the landmark sex discrimination case Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins that highlighted the barriers facing women in venture capital and tech industries.  She has also tried cases involving breach of contract and unpaid equity claims.  She is a frequent speaker at conferences and panels on employment law issues, as well as on topics related to bias and diversity.  Ms. Lee was selected as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Northern California by San Francisco Magazine and recognized as a Super Lawyers "Rising Star".  

Before joining Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, Ms. Lee was an associate at a prominent national litigation firm, where she handled a wide variety of complex cases ranging from intellectual property disputes to securities lawsuits.  Ms. Lee also served as a law clerk for the Honorable William Alsup of the Northern District of California.  Ms. Lee is a graduate, cum laude, of the University of Michigan Law School where she was an editor for the Michigan Journal of Law Reform.  Ms. Lee received her undergraduate degree in biology from Yale University.


Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Wage and Hour
  • Discrimination, Retaliation, and Harassment
  • Employment Agreements and Severance Negotiations
  • Trade Secrets

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2014


  • University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • J.D. cum laude - 2009
    • Law Journal: Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Note Editor, 2007 - 2009
  • Yale University
    • B.A. - 2004
    • Honors: National Dean's List
    • Major: Biology

Published Works

  • New Developments in PAGA Enforcement and Settlements , ABA Labor and Employment Law Section FLASH Journal , January, 2017
  • Chapter Contributor, Litigation of International Employment Disputes, International Labor and Employment Laws (BNA, 3rd ed. 2009 and cumulative supplement 2016)
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Fair Labor Standards Act Subcommittee Annual Midwinter Report (2015, 2016)


  • Overcoming Bias and Barriers to Diversity (Moderator), California Employment Lawyer’s Diversity Leadership Summit (San Francisco, California) , 2016 - Present
  • Annual Employment Law Update, Bar Association of San Francisco Labor & Employment Section Annual Conference (Yosemite, California), 2015 - Present
  • Leveling the Playing Field: Sex Discrimination and Asian Americans in the Law and Silicon Valley, AABA Civil Rights and Women’s Committees (San Francisco, California), 2015 - Present
  • Spotting and Addressing Discrimination and Bias in the Tech Sector, Practicing Law Institute, 2018 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Asian American Bar Association, Member, 2013 - Present
  • Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of California, Member
  • Labor and Employment Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, Associate
  • U.S. Federal Courts, Law Clerk to the Hon. William Alsup
  • Southern Center for Human Rights, Law Clerk


  • Spanish