Arroyo Grande, CA

Contact Information


Email: lisa @ surrendertolive.com

Lisa A. O’Leary, Esq.


Brain Cancer Quality of Life Collaborative

Lisa O’Leary is a practicing attorney in California. She received her undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California where she studied Political Science with a Pre-Law concentration. Lisa completed her legal studies at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California, where she worked as an intern and post-bar clerk for the San Diego County Public Defender’s office. In addition, Lisa completed a judicial externship for the Honorable Barbara L. Major, federal magistrate judge for the United States District Court, Southern District of California. She also served as an editor for the Thomas Jefferson Law Review, and graduated summa cum laude ranked second in her class. Since then, Lisa has had a robust and varied career, with practice areas including medical malpractice, insurance coverage, toxic tort, landlord-tenant disputes, personal injury, and workers’ compensation.

Lisa became an unwilling member of the brain tumor community when her husband Patrick was diagnosed with glioblastoma in September 2014 after suffering a seizure. Despite excellent surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation, Patrick’s case was complex from the start due to a severely debilitating focal seizure condition. Lisa acted as his care partner and used her legal experience to be the most effective advocate she could for his care. Unfortunately, Patrick passed away just ten months after his symptoms first presented on July 11, 2015, shortly after being enrolled in hospice care.

Since losing Patrick, Lisa has become a devoted volunteer with the National Brain Tumor Society where she initially served for one year on the Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk Planning Committee. Currently, Lisa is a member of the Pacific West Regional Board, the Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group, and the recently assembled Community Editorial Committee. She is also active with the online brain tumor network on Twitter, #BTSM (brain tumor social media), and has started a blog to document her experience called Surrender to Live: A Widow’s Journey From Pain to Purpose. It is her hope to use her legal background and passion for the brain tumor community to improve quality of life for both patients and their care partners.


  1. 2009

    Juris Doctor

    Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  2. 2005

    BA Political Science

    California Polytechnic State University

Professional Appointments

  1. 2018-present
    Community Editorial Committee
    National Brain Tumor Society
  2. 2017-present
    Pacific West Regional Board Member
    National Brain Tumor Society
  3. 2017-current
    Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group
    National Brain Tumor Society
  4. 2016-2017
    Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk, Committee Member
    National Brain Tumor Society