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T. 510.295.5288

Ilona loves doing “neutral” work, including investigations, mediation and training. It lets her draw on her natural empathy for all sides to help resolve difficult, painful problems in a way that provides all the participants the dignity, respect, and care that enables them to be heard and, ultimately, to heal.


Ilona’s work includes investigations across a variety of industries such as tech, nonprofit and government agencies.

She has extensive experience with labor and employment law and Title IX, having spent 12 years litigating civil rights cases. She served as the legal director for the national Transgender Law Center from 2012-2017. Prior to that, she was a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights and an associate at the labor law firm of Cohen, Weiss and Simon in New York.

Ilona also worked for the California State Assembly and as a lobbyist for Equality California.

She authored numerous articles and book chapters on sex discrimination and LGBT legal issues and teaches a class on Law and Sexuality at the University of California, Berkeley. She also serves on the mediation panels for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Outside the Office

Ilona plays a little piano, mandolin, guitar and ukulele. She sings with the Oakland Symphony Chorus.

Related Publications

Archived Publications

Related Events

Write it Right: Tips on Investigatory Findings | CalGovHR - March 13 - 15, 2024
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Beyond Investigations: Repairing and Enhancing Workplace Culture With Conflict Resolution Tools | CALPELRA - November 14 - 17, 2023
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AWI Workplace Investigations Virtual Seminar Series | Association of Workplace Investigators - September 12, 19 and 26, 2023
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Mediating Across Differences | Association of for California Governmental Human Resources Professionals (CalGovHR) - March 8, 2023
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Conflict Resolution in the Workplace | Bar Association of San Francisco - January 19, 2023
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CALPELRA’s 2021 Annual Training Conference | CALPELRA - November 16 - 19, 2021
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Conflict Resolution Options to Consider Before, After, or In Place Of an Investigation | Association of Workplace Investigators - March 15, 2021
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Association of Workplace Investigators 2020 Virtual Conference | Association of Workplace Investigators - November 5 - 6, 2020
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Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace | County Counsels' Association - March 7, 2024
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The Professional Responsibility of Independent Investigators | County Counsels' Association - March 7, 2024
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Archived Events

  • Lecturer, U.C. Berkeley, annual course on Law and Sexuality
  • “Conflict Resolution Options to Consider Before, After, or In Place Of an Investigation,” AWI webinar, co-presenter, March 15, 2022
  • “Supreme Court’s LGBTQ Discrimination Decisions, Hot Off the Press,” Bar Association of San Francisco, moderator, July 8, 2020
  • “Supporting Transgender Employees: Legal Update and Practical Guidance for Creating Inclusive Workplaces,” Bar Association of San Francisco Labor and Employment Law Section annual Yosemite conference, moderator, February 22, 2020
  • “Supreme Court LGBTQ Title VII cases,” U.C. Berkeley School of Law, panelist, November 13, 2019
  • “Transgender Rights in the Workplace: Where Are We and How Did We Get Here?”, Alameda County Bar Association, panelist, September 26, 2019
  • “Supporting Transgender Employees: Legal Update and Practical Guidance for Creating Inclusive Workplaces,” California Lawyers Association Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, panelist, July 19, 2019
  • “Equity in Voice: Recognizing and Validating Diversity in Mediation,” Alameda County Bar Association, panelist, June 11, 2019
  • “Best Practices for Mediating with LGBT Parties,” American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution annual conference, moderator, April 25, 2019.
  • “Representing Transgender Clients: Practical Skills and Cultural Competency,” WealthCounsel, solo speaker, February 18, 2019
  • “Transgender Cultural Competencies: Practical Guidance in Promoting and Pursuing Inclusive and Welcoming Policies and Practices,” American Bar Association 2019 Corporate Counsel Seminar, panelist, February 15, 2019
  • “Transgender Employment Discrimination,” Bar Association of San Francisco, moderator, December 4, 2018
  • “Transgender Employment Issues,” Sonoma County Bar Association, solo speaker, September 7, 2018
  • “In Transition: The Fast-Evolving Law on Transgender Rights in Governmental Spaces,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Inaugural LGBT Forum, panelist, May 2, 2017
  • “Transgender Students and Title IX,” U.C. Hastings School of Law, panelist, Jan. 17, 2017
  • “Employment Protections for Transgender Employees,” Practicing Law Institute, panelist, Nov. 16, 2016
  • “A Path Forward on the Recognition of Transgender Rights, Employment Equality, and Integration of Transgender Troops into the U.S. Military,” American Bar Association Annual Meeting, panelist, Aug. 5, 2016
  • “Modern Family: Keeping up with Accommodations for Religious, Caregiver, and Transgender Employees,” American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual EEO Conference, panelist, April 1, 2016
  • “The Use of Stereotyping Evidence in Employment Discrimination Cases,” U.C. Hastings, Hastings Law Journal Symposium: The Status of Antidiscrimination Law and Litigation in the United States, panelist, Feb. 12, 2016
  • “Hearing on Workplace Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Americans,” U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, provided testimony, March 16, 2015
  • “Employment Law and Transgender Clients,” AIDS Legal Referral Panel, solo speaker, Nov. 20, 2014.
  • “Transgender Employment Discrimination,” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Annual Technical Assistance Program (TAPS) Employer Conference, panelist, June 20, 2013
  • “Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and Expression State Bar of California,” Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Symposium, keynote speaker, April 19, 2013

Leadership/Committee Roles

  • Alameda County Bar Association, ADR Section Executive Committee (2019-2020)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
    • Labor and Employment Section Executive Committee (August 2020-present)
    • Equality Committee on LGBT Issues (co-chair, 2019-present)
  • California Law Review Alumni Board of Directors (2012-present)
  • San Francisco Bach Choir Board of Directors (2011-2012)
  • Oakland Symphony Board of Directors, Chorus Committee (2019-2020)

Other Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution (current)
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) (current)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association (former)
  • OIG Names Ilona Turner as Partner
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  • Ilona Turner Elected to BASF’s Labor and Employment Law Section Executive Committee
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  • Ilona Turner Elected to the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
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University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D.

University of California, Santa Cruz; B.A., honors, Phi Beta Kappa

Areas of Expertise


Title IX



Mediation and Conflict Resolution


State Bar of California

New York State Bar Association

New Jersey State Bar Association (inactive)

U.S. Supreme Court

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Third Circuit Court of Appeals

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Northern District of California

District of New Jersey

Eastern District of New York

Eastern District of Wisconsin

Southern District of California

Southern District of New York