Dorothy Chou Proudfoot is an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the San Francisco Rent Board, where she presides over arbitration hearings in residential rent control cases and mediates landlord-tenant disputes. Prior to her service with the City and County of San Francisco, she was a Deputy District Attorney in Marin County for sixteen years, handling all types of state criminal violations, specializing in gang violence and sexual assault. From 2008-2009, she served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, assigned to the San Francisco office, to prosecute federal offenses in Project Safe Childhood and Project Safe Neighborhood cases. Prior to her criminal law practice, she practiced civil litigation at a San Francisco law firm.
Dorothy is a California native, who grew up in a three-generation, bilingual household in Southern California. She is the second of three daughters of Chinese immigrants who were both raised in Taiwan before emigrating to the United States for graduate school. In her childhood, her father was the pastor of a Chinese church and her mother conducted insulin research at UC Irvine before becoming a church administrator. Her maternal grandmother, also an immigrant, has lived with them since 1974.
Dorothy attended UC Berkeley on a Chancellor’s Scholarship, graduating in three years with a degree in English. While at Berkeley, she joined the Cal Band and served on various committees within the student-led structure. She worked as support staff at two San Francisco law firms before attending UC Berkeley School of Law.
Dorothy is the President-Elect of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court and Vice President of Women Lawyers of Alameda County. She serves on the Public Law Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, and the Civic and Judicial Appointments Committee of Queen’s Bench Bar Association. She served on the Board of Governors of California Women Lawyers for five years and was the first Asian-American President of the Marin County Bar Association in 2017.
She is an active member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, serving as faculty for the Women in Trial Intensive Advocacy Training Program, and the Alameda County Bar Association, serving as a judge and scorer for the Harley Mock Trial Competition, having previously coached a championship-winning high school mock trial team for eight years. Dorothy volunteers as a small group discussion leader for the National Association of Women Judges’ Color of Justice program. She serves on the advisory committee of the Race, Law, and Policy Academy at Oakland Technical High School and volunteers as a mentor and mock trial judge for their program. She finds a creative outlet outside the field of law on the Performance Committee of the University of California Marching Band Alumni Association.
Dorothy met her spouse Tom, a computer game programmer and saxophonist, in the Cal Band. They have been married for over 22 years.