Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Hilary Moreira
October 1, 2020
A move to the East Coast always seemed in the cards for San Diego native Hilary Moreira. In fact, when she attended the University of San Diego, everybody assumed that’s where she was from.
“I think it was a combination of things,” she says. “I’m not a huge fan of the beach, I don’t know how to surf and I don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes.”
In fact, when the time came to select a law school, Hilary was ready for a change of scenery and applied to Hofstra University School of Law on Long Island.
“I wanted to experience seasons,” she explained.
Once in New York, she said she finally “got it” that most folks don’t experience 80 degrees on Christmas Eve.
“I love being cold and cozy during the holidays,” she says, adding that she even likes the snow, “just not too much of it!”
Her plan was to return to California after law school, but she met her now-husband at Hofstra and never left. Hilary and her husband, a mergers and acquisitions attorney, live on the North Shore of Long Island with daughters Sophia, 5, and Ava, 3.
A former Notes & Comments Editor for Hofstra’s Labor & Employment Law Journal, Hilary first came to Bond as a summer associate, and joined the firm after she graduated in 2009.
“I’m a lifer so far,” says Hilary, who became a member in 2019 and works in Bond’s Garden City office.
Hilary was recently recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in Business by the Long Island Business News, which previously named her an Outstanding Millennial in 2016. She also is listed as a New York Metro Super Lawyers Rising Star. She’s part of Bond’s labor and employment practice, where she works with many public sector clients, including municipalities and school districts.
Working with the latter group might come easier to Hilary than most – her parents are both educators. In fact, although she always planned to pursue a career in law, she majored in elementary education as an undergraduate, just in case.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be a lawyer, but you’re not sure you’re going to like law school until you’re in it,” she explained. “Education was a fallback.”
Her dad is an assistant superintendent for human resources at a school district, and her mom belongs to a teachers’ union. So she knows her way around a negotiating table, and a large part of her practice centers around collective bargaining negotiations with employee union representatives and advising clients on personnel issues.
Although Hilary knew she wanted to practice labor and employment law, Bond’s strong school law practice was also part of the firm’s appeal, she says.
Managing member Craig Olivo, who has worked extensively with Hilary, says that she, “not only exhibits a depth of knowledge of the law most typically seen only in much more senior lawyers, she also brings an unassuming intelligence, common sense and practical wisdom to solving problems that cannot be taught or learned.”
Janet Gilmor, the William Floyd UFSD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, lauds Hilary’s ability to negotiate “fair contracts that are sensitive to the needs of the district and the employee groups. She keeps our team on track and organized. We have coined the phrase "Hilary's homework," because after negotiations she sends out a list of tasks to be completed in an effort to keep things moving forward.”
For her part, Hillary says she enjoys helping clients deal with personnel issues because it brings a new challenge to each day. In other words, never a dull moment.
“I have the opportunity to interface closely with clients to solve a surprisingly wide variety of issues that arise – many of which you’d never imagine would occur in a workplace.”