Arielle B. Kristan (“Ari”) advises and counsels businesses, non-profits, and colleges and universities in avoiding employee conflict and minimizing the risk of costly litigation.  She assists clients in complying with federal and state employment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, the Massachusetts Pay Equity Act, Massachusetts leave laws, and Massachusetts General Law Chapter 151B.  Ari also works as an investigator of claims of workplace misconduct and discrimination, conducting both internal and independent reviews of employee allegations.

An experienced litigator, Ari also represents clients in state and federal court and before administrative agencies, including the EEOC and the MCAD.  Her litigation experience ranges from employment discrimination and wage and hour disputes to Chapter 93A claims, civil rights claims and claims for breach of fiduciary duty.  Ari understands the importance of minimizing the disruption and cost of litigation for her clients, and works to obtain successful results for clients as early in the litigation process as possible through the use of motions for preliminary relief, motions to dismiss, and summary judgment.

Ari works frequently with colleges and universities, with a particular focus on employment and student discipline matters.  She is proud to serve the higher education community as both a litigator and an independent investigator.  She has worked as an independent investigator of allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment involving students, faculty members, and senior leaders.  She has also defended colleges and universities in employment matters and student discipline matters, including litigation under Title IX.

Ari frequently presents and conducts workplace trainings on topics related to non-discrimination, diversity, and inclusion.  Ari has particular experience speaking and presenting on LGBTQ workplace issues, with a focus on the creation of inclusive and equitable workplaces for transgender and gender non-binary employees.

Practice Areas


  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2009; Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar
  • Tufts University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2003


  • Named among Top Women Lawyers Rising Stars by Super Lawyers published in Boston Magazine in 2016
  • Named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer – Rising Star (Top 2.5% of lawyers 40 and under) from 2014 to present
  • Director, Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association
  • Member, Boston Bar Association
  • Member, Women’s Bar Association

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 2009
  • Connecticut, 2010
  • United States District Court, Massachusetts, 2010
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2011

Published Works and Presentations

  • Author, “An Uncertain New World: Labor and Employment Issues and the Post-Scalia Court,” Bender’s Law and Employment Bulletin, April 2016.
  • Author, “Unmaking the ‘Curious Distinction’: The Seventh Circuit Holds that Title VII Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation,” Bender’s Law and Employment Bulletin, May 2017.
  • Author, “Gender Identity Discrimination” in Massachusetts Employment Law (MCLE, Inc. 4th ed. 2015 & Supp. 2017).
  • Panelist, “Implicit Bias in the Workplace: A Guide for the Employment Law Attorney,” Massachusetts Bar Association, May 2017.
  • Panelist, “The Massachusetts Pay Equity Act: Strategies for Higher Education,” Boston Bar Association, February 2018.
  • Frequent presenter on employment law aspects of the opioid crisis.
  • Presenter, “Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming People in the Workplace: The 60-Minute Lawyer,” MCLE, October 2018.
  • Presenter, “Employment Law Updates,” Boston Bar Association, College & University Section, June 2019.
  • Frequent presenter on the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Hirsch Roberts Weinstein, Ari was an attorney in two Boston law firms; first in the complex business litigation department of an international law firm and second as a civil litigator at a trial boutique.  Ari also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Administrative Law Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where she defended state agencies, including in oral arguments before the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Immediately after graduating from law school, Ari served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joette Katz of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Ari has a passion for teaching, and has served as an adjunct instructor at Tufts University and Boston University School of Law.  Prior to law school, Ari spent three-years working for an international campus-based nonprofit.


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