Law, Mediation, and Organizations

Growing up in a challenging environment, the San Francisco housing projects, prepared Maja for her legal career. With the same resiliency and gutsy ambition that got her out of the projects, she started her own law firm within two years of passing the bar exam.

Maja soon became an innovator in civil cases for survivors of rape, incest, and child molestation. Her extensive litigation experience in sexual abuse led to her pioneering work against the Catholic Church for its years of covering up priest molestation.

With an eye to large scale social change, as well as saving her clients from harm in litigation, Maja engaged in creative problem solving from the start. She worked with police departments, the media, the courts and the legislature, at the same time pursuing efforts towards case resolution. This honed her interest in the still formative field of mediation. She subsequently became a mediator/arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and taught Negotiation and Mediation at Stanford Law School, Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley, and Hastings Law School.

Maja served as Judge pro tempore for San Francisco Municipal and Superior Courts, was elected President of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers, and was selected by TIME magazine as one of America’s Top Ten Women Lawyers. Her legal publications include:  “Maximizing Damages for Women Litigants”, CTLA FORUM, Nov. 1981; “The Woman Plaintiff - Communicating Changing Roles to the Jury”, ATLA TRIAL, Aug. 1983; “Third Party Civil Damages for Rape”, WOMEN’S RIGHTS - LAW PRACTICE & ADVOCACY, Clark Boardman Co. Ltd. 1984; “Keeping Secrets with Confidentiality Agreements, Just Say No” ATLA TRIAL, Aug. 1998.

Maja Kristin: Focus on Women

Maja co-founded RockRose Institute (RRI) (2004-2014) with three other women lawyers to promote, support, and advance non-violent conflict resolution. In 2007, RRI organized and sponsored Facing Violence: Justice, Religion & Conflict Resolution World Forum, an event for 500 international and inter-generational participants to explore new ways of using dialogue and acting in the face of conflict.

Maja has served as board member for Convergence Center for Policy Resolution (; the World Affairs Council (; and the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research.  

Maja is a member of the National Leadership Council for Facing History and Ourselves (, whose focus is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.  Maja also serves on the Leadership Council of Planned Parenthood (

Maja was honored with the Girls Write Now Agent of Change Award in 2023, for her work on bridge building, collaborative leadership and philanthropy by Convergence, Center for Policy Resolution in 2019, and with a Spirit of Philanthropy Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2016.