Claire joined the County Attorney’s Office in 2007. In 2014, she was promoted to the position of Lead Deputy County Attorney for Education. In 2018, she was appointed Chief Deputy County Attorney. Claire assists the County Attorney in overseeing the legal services provided to school districts and various County departments, including the Human Services Agency, the Probation Department, the Information Services Department and the Health Commission. She provides direct legal services to the County Board of Education, the County Superintendent of Schools, Hillsborough City SD, San Mateo Union High SD, the SELPA, Sequoia Union High SD, the Coalition for Safe Schools and Communities, and she serves on the Office’s Employment Team.

Claire’s past experience in the County Attorney’s Office includes:

  • Representing the Bayshore, Belmont-Redwood Shores, Brisbane, Burlingame, Cabrillo USD, Jefferson Union High, Las Lomitas Elementary, Portola Valley, Redwood City, and Woodside Elementary school districts

  • Special Education litigation

  • Lanterman Petris Short Conservatorship Team

  • Bail Bonds

  • Significant experience litigating civil cases in state and federal court


Undergraduate: Smith College

  • B.A., Government and French Studies, cum laude
  • President, Smith College Debate Society

Law School: UC Hastings College of Law

  • Senior Editor, Hastings Law Journal

  • First Place, Best Oral Argument, Roger J. Traynor California Appellate Moot Court Competition

  • Best Brief, Pacific Region, Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

  • American Jurisprudence Awards – Contracts and Appellate Advocacy


Prior Experience

While at UC Hastings College of the Law, Claire externed for the Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr. at the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also externed at the California Attorney General’s Office in the Appeals, Writs & Trials Division. Upon graduation from law school in 2003, Claire joined the law firm of Morgenstein & Jubelirer, LLP as a litigator, handling everything from employment and labor law to product liability, intellectual property and insurance coverage matters.


Claire Cunningham headshot
Claire A. Cunningham
Chief Deputy County Attorney
(650) 363-4795