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Zakiya J. Norton is a true rarity – a Bay Area native. Zakiya grew up in the South Bay but decided warm weather, blue skies, and temperate winters were unsatisfactory and attended college in upstate New York. After suffering through a few winters in Oneonta, NY and obtaining her B.A., Zakiya followed the undeniable siren song of her home state and attended law school at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. She then lost her senses again and moved to Las Vegas where she took the Nevada bar and practiced at a civil litigation firm in a variety of practice areas. It was during this role that Zakiya embraced her role as a litigator and learned the importance of advocating for her clients in the right manner, time, and place.
After starting her family, the lure of California was too strong to resist and Zakiya moved back to the Bay Area and decided to undertake the herculean task of studying for the California bar while raising a small child. While looking for the seemingly impossible combination of a satisfying associate position at a law firm that would still allow her time to raise her young daughter, she decided to volunteer at Bay Area Legal Aid. Giving back to the community has always been a priority for Zakiya and Bay Area Legal Aid fits the bill. Little did she know that she’d actually be meeting her future business partner, Somita Basu, during her time at Bay Area Legal Aid and before you know it, the two of them decided to open their own firm.
Zakiya not only has a strong strategic mind set for litigation matters but also a keen eye for the intricacies and potential pitfalls of estate planning. She understands that just because something is possible, it doesn’t mean it’s practical. Zakiya knows that estate planning documents are the ultimate guide for a client’s beneficiaries and therefore must be clear in articulating the client’s wishes while allowing flexibility for unseen circumstances. Zakiya draws on her extensive legal experience when advising her estate planning and probate clients without ever losing her signature sense of compassion, kindness, and her sense of humor.
Zakiya continues to give back even now. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area non-profit, Cancer CAREpoint, which provides valuable services free of cost to all cancer patients and their families. Zakiya is also a special liaison to the California Lawyer’s Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Silicon Valley Bar Association, the Santa Clara County Black Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and Black Women Lawyers of Northern California.
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, California
- Estate Planning
- Advanced Health Care Directives
- Death Taxes
- Durable Power Of Attorney
- Estate Administration
- Estate Planning for Women
- Living Trusts
- Probate & Trust Litigation
- Trust Administration
- Cancer CAREpoint, Board of Directors
- Silicon Valley Bar Association, Member
- Santa Clara County Black Lawyers Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Black Women Lawyers of Northern California, Member
- California Lawyer’s Association, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee, Special Liaison
- Lawyers of Distinction- Top 10% of Lawyers in the United States
- National Black Lawyers Top 100 and Top 40 under 40