Mara received her Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University in 1980. She received her Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate School of Law and was admitted to the practice of law in California in 1984. While at Golden Gate School of Law, Mara began her employment with the State Bar of California, starting as a law clerk in the office of trial counsel and, over the years, eventually working her way up to senior trial counsel in the office of the chief trial counsel. Mara's time working for the State Bar fine tuned her research and writing skills as she drafted proposed legislation covering a wide range of statutes as well as giving her a wealth of experience in litigation in both the trial and appellate level. Mara continued working for the State Bar of California until 1997.
Since her admission to the California State Bar, Mara's practice has focused primarily on complex litigation, with substantial experience in handling sensitive political and public interest cases and the creation and implementation of programs to help highlight and solve ethical issues for potentially problematic members. She has attended multiple litigation programs, including Hastings Law School Advocacy Program and LITA Boalt Hall at University of California, Berkeley. She has taught ethics and professional responsibility at several law schools, including University of San Francisco and Golden Gate University.
Mara was a valued legal adviser for the State Bar of California who, for several years, was responsible for directing and supervising all investigations of California attorneys throughout most of California. Additionally, Mara oversaw literally thousands of complaints against California attorneys and played an active role in creating the conviction monitoring program at the State Bar, which insured that the State Bar would be able to monitor any criminal proceedings instituted against a California attorney. She has negotiated and drafted hundreds of settlement agreements with California attorneys. She helped revise several of the rules governing attorney conduct, the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar Act in addition to drafting multiple ethics opinions. Her cases have been litigated through to the California Supreme Court where she has appeared multiple times.
In addition to her work for the State Bar of California, Mara has performed pro bono work for Legal Aid of Marin and the Bar Association of San Francisco. She helped provide legal assistance to low income families, helped grandmothers obtain legal guardianship where the parent(s) was impaired and helped battered women obtain protective orders against their batterers.
Mara started her own practice, Law Office of Mara J. Mamet, in 1997, where she specialized in ethics consulting and handled personal injury cases, contracts, small business issues and other areas of civil law.
In 2009, Mara brought her complex litigation and extensive civil law experience to the San Luis Obispo law firm Carmel & Naccasha, LLP as a partner.