Spears & Shelf, LLP, was born when Kimberley Spears and Amy Shelf merged their solo estate planning practices into a partnership in 2014. Both Amy and Kimberley began their legal careers in large Bay Area law firms, servicing high net worth individuals and companies, and then opened their own practices, which enabled them to provide comprehensive estate planning and administration services to their clients while still having time for their own families and other interests.
Kimberley began her professional career in book publishing in New York and San Francisco before going to law school and receiving her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. While there she earned the Moot Court Writing Award and the Prosser Award, and she served as Articles Editor for the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. Kimberley’s legal career began at Cooley, LLP, in Palo Alto, where she practiced technology transactions law working with both large and small technology companies. She traded corporate clients for human ones in 2004 when she opened her own trusts and estate practice known as FamilyWise Estate Planning. There she worked closely with families to provide care and guidance through the estate planning and trust administration process. Kimberley graduated cum laude, junior Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Irvine, where she received a B.A. in English.
She lives in San Francisco with her husband and is the mom of two sons, one in college and one in high school. When Kimberley is not in the office, you can find her spending time with her family, watching volleyball tournaments, or walking in the steep hills of San Francisco.
Amy took a winding path in becoming an attorney. She received her J.D. (with all sorts of exciting honors!) from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, where she performed research and writing in the fields of tax, wills & trusts, and assisted conception. While in law school, she interned with the San Francisco Probate Department, learning as much about human psychology as she did about probate practice. Amy worked for seven years at the wonderful firm of Folger, Levin & Kahn, practicing primarily estate planning for high net worth clients, and practiced on her own for seven years before forming Spears & Shelf, LLP. Amy earned her B.A. from Columbia University.
Amy and her husband own succulence: life and garden and have two children. Amy sings with Conspiracy of Venus, a women’s a capella alt-choir. Amy’s own life philosophy is founded in a joyous appreciation of the here and now, in the pleasures and beauty of food and nature, and in the practice of yoga.
Katelyn has worked with Kimberley Spears since 2013 and was here at the formation of Spears & Shelf, LLP. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During law school, she focused primarily on international human rights policy and immigration. After law school, Katelyn had a fellowship at the International Institute of the Bay Area before she made her way to estate planning. Katelyn earned a B.A. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles graduating cum laude. Before attending UCLA, she spent several years traveling the world and living in New York before finding her way home to California.
Katelyn lives in San Francisco with her husband and two young daughters, where they spend most of their free time bundled up at Ocean Beach.
Virginia H. Perkins
Virginia joined Spears & Shelf, LLP, in 2018. She graduated from New York University Law, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. Virginia returned to San Francisco and spent the first several years of her law practice learning the intricacies of tax law, ERISA, and litigation in the tax and ERISA departments of international law firms Brobeck, Orrick, and Jones Day, and at a boutique ERISA firm, Trucker Huss. She began her estate planning practice working with the highly skilled attorneys at Anderson, Yazdi, Hwang, Minton & Horn LLP in Burlingame, where she focused primarily on estate planning for high net worth clients. Virginia graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley.
Virginia lives in Marin County with her husband and two young children. When not in the office, she enjoys exploring Marin by bike, or hiking the trails of Mt. Tamalpais with her family.
Myriam de la Jara
Myriam joined Spears and Shelf, LLP, in 2014 as Office Administrator. While assisting the team of attorneys with their administrative needs, Myriam became well versed in the estate planning process, eventually taking on a growing number of responsibilities involving paralegal work. She now serves as Legal Assistant, assisting our attorneys and clients with trust administration, probate, and estate planning.
Myriam graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Design and a minor in Art History. She has previously worked as an office manager and administrative assistant for businesses and organizations in the technology, educational, and non-profit sectors, always striving to work for organizations that generate a positive impact in the world.
Although Myriam has called San Francisco her home for many years, she actually grew up in Spain, where she attended the Lycée Français d’Alicante, a French language immersion school. Besides having a good understanding of the French language, Myriam speaks Spanish fluently, and enjoys making a good paella.
Magda joined Spears & Shelf, LLP, in 2018 after relocating to the Bay Area from Southern California. She holds a B.A. in Communication & Media Studies from Cal State University, Northridge, and has a passion for photography and design which she pursues in her free time.
A lover of the creative arts and a fine jewelry designer, she spent the early part of her career designing jewelry for small businesses before moving on to Disney Consumer Products, the division of Disney responsible for bringing broad-based merchandise programs to life.
Born in the mid-west as the daughter of a car designer, Magda and her family moved to Sweden at age nine when her father began to design for Volvo. It was while living in Europe she gained a love of travel, history, language, and learning about the cultures of the world. She most recently traveled to the Himalayas to the ancient city of Ladakh, which was documented in a photography exhibition shown at the Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota. You can find Magda’s line of precious and semi-precious handmade works under the moniker LOCZIworks.