During her nearly 12 years as an attorney, Emily Dahm has earned her reputation as a fighter. Her aggressive and tenacious advocacy has made her a force to be reckoned with both inside and outside the courtroom. She brings a unique combination of complex civil litigation and criminal trial practice skills to Dahm and Wargo, LLP.
A graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, Emily demonstrated an early commitment to helping people in need. While still in law school, Emily excelled in her clerkships with the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC) and the Asian Law Caucus. At the LAS-ELC, she successfully represented clients at administrative hearings, securing back pay for unpaid wages and overturning denials of unemployment insurance. At the Asian Law Caucus, she advocated for greater protections for employees facing on-the-job discrimination and retaliation.
After law school, Emily began her career as an attorney with the international law firm Latham & Watkins, LLP, practicing in their Singapore, Hong Kong, and San Francisco offices. While in Singapore and Hong Kong, Emily primarily worked on multinational corporate financings for multi-million dollar infrastructure projects in Asia. Emily then joined Latham & Watkins’ San Francisco office to focus on litigation. In San Francisco, she honed her skills in complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, white collar crime, and auditor liability. While at Latham & Watkins, Emily also handled numerous pro bono cases where she could engage in her true passion: fighting for the underdog. She represented homeless individuals charged with minor crimes and asylum applicants fleeing violence and persecution.
Emily’s commitment to defending the disenfranchised brought her to the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office where she served as a Deputy Public Defender for eight and a half years. In that time, Emily handled thousands of misdemeanor and felony cases., involving a diverse array of crimes, including complex public benefits fraud, multiple defendant matters, “Three Strikes” cases, carjacking, vehicular manslaughter, attempted murder, driving under the influence (DUI), drug possession and sales, sex crimes, theft, burglary, robbery, gang crimes, domestic violence and stalking, assault and battery, and illegal weapons possession.
Emily has handled complex forensic evidence matters involving DNA, toxicology, fingerprints, ballistic and toolmark evidence, handwriting analysis, and accident reconstruction. Because of her experience, she is prepared to tackle these topics with ease.
Emily is an accomplished trial attorney. She has tried 25 cases to jury verdict and secured numerous full acquittals. In the trials that resulted in mixed verdicts or convictions, the outcomes were usually far superior to the pre-trial prosecution offer to settle the case.
Emily commands a courtroom with her mastery of the law and rules of evidence and her personal style. As a result, she achieves both excellent settlements and trial results for her clients.
Emily has been a guest speaker at Berkeley Law, San Jose State University, and University of San Francisco Law School.
She lives in Oakland with her husband and son.
- Juris Doctor, University of California at Berkeley – Boalt Hall School of Law, 2004.
- Master Degree in Law and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 2004.
- Bachelor of Arts Degree, College of St. Benedict, magna cum laude, 1997.
- All California state courts
- U.S. District Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
Professional Associations and Memberships
- California Bar Association (Member)
- Alameda County Bar Association (Member)
- San Francisco Bar Association (Member)
- Contra Costa County Bar Association (Member)
- California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (Member)
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Member)
- Women Defenders (Former Co-Chair and Member of Board of Directors, Emeritus)