Peggy is both an impassioned advocate for social and economic justice and a highly skilled civil rights litigator. Born in rural Minnesota and raised in a Catholic/Jewish household to parents who valued education and diversity they instilled a sense of justice in Peggy from an early age. Peggy initially pursued a career in music and was (at one time) an accomplished classical violinist. By the time she graduated from the High School where both her parents taught (that was a tough one sometimes), she felt compelled to shift her career interests to advocacy. This was based in part by her experience in losing a family member to AIDS and watching as he experienced unparalleled acts of discrimination in his workplace and within all aspects of his life, while dying from a disease that had no cure. The legal community was helpless and completely without resources to address the needs of persons with HIV/AIDS which was not considered a disability until 1990 in California. This and other societal and economic injustices experienced by the stigmatized and disenfranchised moved Peggy to focus on a legal career to advocate for those who have been traditionally barred from accessing justice.
Ms. Farrell is a graduate of Occidental College where she graduated with “distinction,” receiving an Advanced Bachelor of Arts in “Politics,” and a Minor in “Women’s Studies.” and obtained her law degree from the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College, a law school dedicated to training public interest lawyers, where she secured fellowships with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and an externship with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
May 1999 - City University of New York School of Law (CUNY), Long Island, NY
June 1994 - Occidental College, Los Angeles, California
Advanced Bachelor of Arts (“ABA”) Conferred with Distinction
Major: Politics/ Emphasis: Political Theory, Minor: Women’s Studies.
Since obtaining her license to practice law in 2000, she worked for several prominent civil rights firms in California and was the Supervising Trial Attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Los Angeles District Office. In addition to working full-time as a litigator, she provided pro bono legal services to homeless youth and persons with or at risk for HIV/AIDS or other harms, including Common Ground, the Westside HIV Center- Homeless Youth & Prevention Project ("HYPE") and the Los Angeles Community Health Project. Peggy also worked on cases with the Disability Rights Legal Center at Loyola Law School and other non-profits.
As the former Legal Director of the HIV/AIDS Legal Services Alliance, she gained wide recognition for her expertise in HIV/AIDS discrimination in employment, places of public accommodation and denial of medical access. She has obtained two seven figure verdicts on behalf of victims of employment discrimination, including a punitive damages award for the employer's conscious disregard of the employee's rights as well as other significant verdicts and settlements. For the last 19 years she has represented hundreds of employees subject to employment discrimination based on sex/gender, sexual orientation or LGBTQ, persons subject to retaliation because they were stalked, sexually assaulted or abused, due to disability (including HIV/AIDS), race/color, national origin (including language), whistleblower activities and unfair wages.
In addition to all of this, she is an adjunct law professor at Southwestern Law School where she taught "non-profit corporations" and later designed and co-taught the first public interest law practice course ever offered at Southwestern, entitled, "Public Interest Law Practice."
March 23, 2018 - Southern California Association of Law Libraries, Riverside, CA “46th Annual SCALL Institute, Inside Job: The Best Kept Secrets of Employment Law” Presenter: Barriers to Employment for Persons with Disabilities: Disability Discrimination & Failure to Accommodate Under the FEHA and ADA
November 19, 2012 - Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA Phi Delta Alpha & Occidental Career Development Center Presenter, “Careers in Public Interest Law”
May 6, 2011 - Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Los Angeles Panelist for seminar entitled, Creating Your Discovery Plan, Advanced Seminar in Discovery (presenter, drafted materials)
October 2008 to January 2010 - University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA Undergraduate lecture entitled, HIV/AIDS Discrimination in Employment & Places of Public Accommodation: An Irrational Basis for the Denial of Fundamental Rights [Department of Biology, "AIDS and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases," Prof. Christiane I. Meyer, Ph.D. [MCD Bio 40]
June 2008 - Jan. 2010 HIV/AIDS Discrimination & Privacy Education & Training: South Central Los Angeles Regional Center, Los Angeles, CA; Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science : Pacific AIDS Education & Training Center, Certification Program, Inglewood, CA; St. Mary C.A.R.E. Program, Long Beach, CA; AIDS Service Center, Pasadena, CA; HIV/AIDS Drug & Alcohol Task Force, Gardena, CA; Screen Actors Guild, LGBT Actors Committee, Los Angeles, CA; Stepping Stones Recovery House, Covina, CA; San Gabriel Valley Provider Network (SPA 3), Pasadena, CA; Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles Jewish AIDS Services- Project Chicken Soup; Harbor UCLA Medical Center; Life-Group Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
October 2009 - Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, CA, www.swlaw.edu
Presenter for video entitled, Legal Analysis, Writing & Skills Professionalism Matters: Advice for your Professional Success http://videolibrary.swlaw.edu/professionalism
July 28, 2009 - Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Video-taped MCLE Seminar entitled, Elimination of Bias in the Representation of HIV Positive Clients (presenter
July 9, 2009 - State Bar of California, LACBA, Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP
MCLE Seminar entitled, HIV/AIDS Discrimination in Employment and Reasonable Accommodations. Co-presenter with David Schulman, Supervising Attorney HIV/AIDS Discrimination Unit for the City of L.A.
October 19, 2007 - State Bar of California- 25th Annual Convention, Labor & Employment Law Section, Berkeley, CA. MCLE Seminar entitled, Litigation Track, Part I, Going for the Kill, Winning Your Case Through Key Depositions (moderator, witness participant, drafted course material.
September 8, 2007 - Continuing Legal Education of the Bar (CEB) MCLE Seminar, entitled, Litigating Government Tort Claims (drafted course materials only).
July 27, 2007 - California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) MCLE Seminar entitled, Depositions- A Key Discovery Tool: Practical Tips for Deposing Experts and Persons Most Knowledgeable in State and Federal Court (lecture, mock deposition, course materials)
June 29, 2007 - Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), www.lacba.org MCLE Seminar: mock trial involving disability discrimination under the California Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA) (drafted course materials, participant)
March 19, 2007 - Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, www.oxy.edu Undergraduate lecture entitled, Litigating Employment Discrimination Cases Based on Sex and Sexual Orientation Pursuant to the California Fair Employment & Housing Act [Department of Women’s Studies/Gender Studies Colloquium, “Contemporary Feminist Thought,” Prof. Maryanne Horowitz, Ph.D. (WSGS 237 Spring 07)]