Public Lawyer Spotlight: Jerrilyn Malana, Chief Deputy District Attorney, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
Interviewed by Alexander M. Calero
Alexander M. Calero is a Senior Counsel at the California Department of Business Oversight and the 2019-2020 Chair of the Public Law Section Executive Committee.
For Jerrilyn Malana, a career in the law was not originally on her radar. Her career path had many stops. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego, she began working as a research assistant at the world-renown Salk Institute for Biological Science. She went on to work in human resources for a large retail company and enrolled in an MBA program. As part of the curriculum, she took a course on business law and it sparked her interest in the law. In 1999, she joined the law firm of Littler Mendelson and became a shareholder there. After 16 years of practicing employment law, she became Chief of Human Resources for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
Throughout her career, Jerrilyn made community service a priority. For her, volunteer work gives her great joy and satisfaction. She has held numerous board, committee and other leadership positions for various non-profit organizations both locally and nationally over the course of her career. One of her most memorable positions was serving as President of the San Diego County Bar Association when she launched "Community Service: Lawyers Giving Back," an initiative that encouraged volunteer and pro bono service. Jerri currently serves as chair of the California Lawyers Association’s Civics Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Committee.