Marcelo Quiñones

Lead Deputy County Counsel

Marcelo Quiñones joined the Office of the County Counsel in 2017.  Marcelo leads the Public Safety and Justice and Education Teams, and he is a member of the Social Justice and Impact Litigation Team.  He advises the County and Santa Clara County Office of Education on a broad array of public law issues, including contracting, governance, data privacy, public records, and policy initiatives.  Marcelo developed recommendations for ensuring a complete count of county residents in the 2020 Census and counseled County staff through all stages in the census cycle.  He specializes in student services issues experienced by local educational agencies, including discipline, interdistrict transfer requests, confidentiality of student records, and Office for Civil Rights and Uniform Complaint Procedures investigations. 

Prior to joining the Office, Marcelo worked on enforcement and regulatory guidance in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), with an emphasis on language access and school discipline.  He led OCR’s investigation into the discipline practices of one of the largest school districts in the country.  While in private practice, he represented government entities in charter school matters and commercial clients in corporate and government investigations, securities enforcement, and complex commercial litigation.  His pro bono practice emphasized criminal law, civil rights, and educational equity, including language access, school assignment practices, and a case in which he represented Mexican American students challenging Arizona’s ethnic studies ban. 

Marcelo’s professional expertise includes:

  • Education law
  • Civil rights laws
  • Government contracting and investigations  
  • Policy initiatives and affirmative litigation
  • Juvenile justice records, institutions, and services


  • University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, J.D., 2011
  • Florida State University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2005

Professional Associations

  • San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association
  • Leadership Institute Fellow of the Center for American Progress (2016)
  • Advisory Committee Member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Education Law Clinic (2014)
  • Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Lawyers in Schools Program  (2013-2014)

Prior Experience

  • Supervising Attorney at the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (2016-2017)
  •  Attorney at the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (2014-2016)
  • Associate at Bingham McCutchen LLP (2012-2014)
  • Fifth grade teacher at Los Angeles Unified School District (2005-2008)

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