Jacquelyn D. Ruffin
Jacquelyn D. Ruffin practices business, real estate, and land use law.
Representative business law matters include forming corporations, partnerships and LLCs; guiding nonprofit clients through the nonprofit incorporation and the tax-exempt application process; drafting bylaws, operating agreements, shareholder agreements and other governing documents for business entities; negotiating and writing third-party contracts; and conceiving and implementing risk reduction strategies. She also serves as general counsel for numerous for- profit and nonprofit businesses.
Ms. Ruffin’s real estate practice includes preparing purchase and sale agreements; guiding clients through due diligence, including title matters, during the acquisition and disposition of real property; negotiating commercial leases and subleases; and drafting permanent and revocable easements. Furthermore, Ms. Ruffin counsels clients through land use transactions, such as special use permit applications, conditional use permit applications, and related CEQA analysis.
Additionally, Ms. Ruffin regularly advises public entity clients in business, real estate, and land use matters. She has represented school districts in numerous real estate transactions (both acquisition and disposition) varying in value from approximately $500,000 to $14 million. In this capacity, Ms. Ruffin assists the districts in complying with surplus property laws, public bidding processes, and state and local land use laws. She also serves as a public agency special counsel for complex transactions, including authoring, RFPs, RFQs, RFBs (e.g. $25-40 million transportation RFBs); overseeing $38.5 million school bond expenditure projects; preparing public bidding contracts (e.g., $30+ million construction project). Finally, Ms. Ruffin advises public entity clients in matters related to the Brown Act, Public Records Act, Constitutional issues and other laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, and statements of investment policy.
Prior to law school, she gained over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, including serving the AmeriCorp national service program in the Bay Area and working in the United Nations Development Fund for Women in West Africa and The Hague, Netherlands.
Ms. Ruffin became a partner in 2018.
In 2022, Ms. Ruffin was the board president of the Ventura County Bar Association (VCBA). In that role, she initiated the VCBA ASK (Attorneys Sharing Knowledge) program, through which local attorneys provide free legal educational presentations to underserved parts of the community as a means of increasing access to justice. Ms. Ruffin is also the past president of She was a chapter reviewer for the 2016 and
Ms. Ruffin is also the past president ofBlack Lawyers of Ventura County, and former president of Women Lawyers of Ventura County. Through Women Lawyers of Ventura County (WLVC) and in collaboration with the Carpinteria/Ventura chapter of the nonprofit Girls, Inc., Ms. Ruffin coordinated a program where women lawyers volunteered as youth mentors at the local juvenile justice center.
She was a chapter reviewer for the 2016 and2017 California Municipal Law Handbook.
Civic and Professional Affiliations
Ms. Ruffin is a member of the American Bar Association, the California Council of School
Attorneys, and ProVisors.
Honors & Awards
In 2023, Ms. Ruffin was selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list. In 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017, she was designated Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star.
In 2018, Ms. Ruffin was named one of the "Top 50 Women in Business" by the Pacific Coast Business Times and selected as the Editor's Choice in Professional Services for the publication. Ms. Ruffin was named to the 2017 “Who’s Who in Professional Services” list by the Pacific Coast Business Times.
In 2014, the Pacific Coast Business Times selected Ms. Ruffin as an up-and-coming Business Leader under the age of 40. The exclusive "40 under 40" list recognizes 40 young, entrepreneurial professionals yearly in the tri-county area who have made a positive change in their community.
"California Public Records Act and the Blurred Line Between What's Public and What's Private" June 20, 2017
"Is it Legal Under the Brown Act? Yes, No, or it Depends...It's just not that Simple Anymore" April 26, 2017
"Potential Risks of Using Online Legal Services" March 7, 2017
"Brown Act Basics" May 24, 2016; January 26, 2017