News & Events
Posted Sept, 23, 2015
The UVA Law Network
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

375+
Alumni

LEADERS IN
SAN FRANCISCO AND SILICON VALLEY


T.J. Angioletti ’92
Chief IP Officer, Netflix

Michael Boylan ’78
General Counsel, Safeway

Mark Brazeal ’93
Chief Legal Officer, SanDisk

David Burke ’93
CEO, Makena Capital Management

Sean Cameron ’06
In-House Counsel, Apple

John Donaldson ’95
Head of Business Development, Pandora

Gary Gansle ’98
Partner/Leader, Northern California Employment Law Practice Group, Squire Patton Boggs

Roger George ’92
General Counsel, Invisalign

Angie Hankins ’98
Director of Intellectual Property, Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center

Erin Hawthornthwaite ’97
Director, Legal, Google

David Hyman ’93
General Counsel, Netflix

R. Hewitt Pate ’87
General Counsel, Chevron

Brian Powers ’74
Chairman Emeritus,
Hellman & Friedman

Joseph Saveri ’87
Antitrust and Class Action
Trial Attorney,
Joseph Saveri Law Firm

Eric Tassone ’98
Senior Data Scientist, Google/YouTube

Wilma Wallace ’89
Vice President,
Global Sustainability, Gap Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO BAR ASSOCIATION
Past President (2013)

Christopher Kearney ’85
Keker & Van Nest

HIGHER EDUCATION

M. Elizabeth Magill ’95
Dean, Stanford Law School

Jay Mitchell ’83
Director, Organizations and Transactions Clinic, Stanford Law School

Janet Napolitano ’83
President, University of California

Janet Norris ’76
University Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, University of California

Lucy Ricca ‘06
Executive Director, Center on the Legal Profession, Stanford Law School

George Triantis LL.M. ’86
Associate Dean for Strategic Planning, Stanford Law School and Associate Dean of Research for Stanford University

Top Employers

Boston jobs

As of Aug. 15, 2015
Amy Lincoln

“To this day, when I say to other lawyers, ‘I loved law school,’ they have one of two reactions: They either look at me like I’m crazy or they say, ‘Oh, you must have gone to Virginia.’”

AMY LINCOLN '02
Senior Counsel, Environmental and Safety Law Group, Chevron

Gary Gansler

"The people at UVA (students, faculty and administration) are what has been a TRUE game-changer for my career. ... It is a network of people who WANT to help each other succeed, and it cannot be beat."

GARY GANSLE '98
Partner/Leader, Northern California Employment Law Practice Group, Squire Patton Boggs

Bradley Handler

“[At UVA Law,] usually class participation was the start of a conversation and not an opportunity to demonstrate the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. Understanding a continuum of outcomes is an important part of any career.”

BRADLEY HANDLER '95
Co-Founder and Chairman, Inspirato; eBay's first lawyer

David Hyman

“Be flexible. Northern California is full of entrepreneurs and rapid change. Be willing to take on new challenges and explore new areas of legal practice while at the same time bringing some level of knowledge and expertise to the position.”

DAVID HYMAN '93
General Counsel, Netflix

Nicholas Jellins

“New UVA Law graduates seeking to begin practice in Northern California should confidently espouse their heritage of Southern courtesy gained through their experience at the University.”

NICHOLAS JELLINS '82
Founding Member, The Jellins Group; Mayor, Menlo Park (2000-06)

Jay Mitchell

“A great thing is that there is such variety and volume in the legal practice and among potential employers generally; you might be on a product team in a startup, you might run a nonprofit (there are lots of them), or you might be in a major firm doing Pacific Rim M&A. All kinds of things to explore out here, and the UVA Law experience will prepare you well.”

JAY MITCHELL '83
Professor of Law and Director, Organizations and Transactions Clinic, Stanford Law School

Shanti Ariker

“The market is really good right now, but cyclical. Try to get an internship out here if you can during school so you will have contacts. Reach out to alumni who can help you. Do pro bono, as that builds your skills.”

SHANTI ARIKER ’95
Global General Counsel and Vice President, Salesforce.org and Salesforce.com Foundation

Michael Purdy

“There's something terrifying yet exhilarating about performing in front of people. If you embrace it and get good at it, whether you're arguing in a courtroom or speaking to a board of directors, it gives you the confidence to take some risks in your career, because you know you can be at your best when the pressure is on.”

MICHAEL PURDY '06
Corporate Counsel, Google

Boston
Contact: Denise Forster

It's a hotbed for the tech industry and business — the San Francisco Bay Area is also a region where University of Virginia School of Law alumni have thrived.

More than 375 alumni are located in the Bay Area, according to LinkedIn, including general counsel at Google and Netflix; in-house counsel at Apple, Yahoo and Chevron; entrepreneurs and the dean of Stanford Law School. We talked to some of our Northern California alumni to gather their work experiences and tips for students and graduates on how to succeed there.

The UVA Law Network is an occasional series on careers for graduates. The school's 17,000 graduates are located in 50 states and more than 60 countries.

Advice from Bay Area Alumni

Shanti ArikerShanti Ariker '95
Global General Counsel and Vice President, Salesforce.org and Salesforce.com Foundation

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
The practice of law has really changed over time, but the best solid law school education will prepare you for any direction your career takes. Really understanding the law and how it works in each subject was really helpful over the years. Adjunct professors in later years were helpful to understand how law practice really works.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
The market is really good right now, but cyclical. Try to get an internship out here if you can during school so you will have contacts. Reach out to alumni who can help you. Do pro bono, as that builds your skills.
 

Paul BelonickPaul Belonick '10
Associate, Sidley Austin

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
Our outstanding faculty. It takes very talented professors to re-wire young students' brains to "think like a lawyer." I realized fully only after I graduated that no matter what field of law I turn to, or no matter what kind of practice I do, there are constants to good lawyering: precision, good writing, attention to detail, clear communication and the ability to question. UVA gives its students a good mix of theory and practical knowledge, but running through every class are the threads that make a good lawyer in any endeavor.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
A large proportion of your colleagues will come from California law schoools, but that's part of your unique appeal: we're a national law school with a reach in every major market, and our graduates are well-known even out here for being not only very smart but also very well-rounded. Firms are always interested. Also, reach out to alums in the area — we're always willing to lend a hand and give advice.
 

Christina Leaton  BennettChristina Leaton Bennett '12
Legal Counsel, Corporate Governance and Securities, Yahoo

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
The top-notch, dedicated professors taught me to think and communicate in a linear fashion. I genuinely believe that the three years I spent with UVA Law professors, particularly those who engaged in the somewhat dreaded "cold call" method, prepared me to more effectively think on my feet as a mergers and acquisitions associate and in my current position.

UVA Law also offers students a wide array of clinics, which provide real-world experience and offer client contact. During my third year at UVA Law, I enrolled in the Nonprofit Clinic, from which I learned a substantial amount about corporate best practices and working with clients. I have frequently drawn upon information and skills I learned in my clinic.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not identify UVA Law's Career Services Office as having significantly impacted my career. When entering UVA Law, I did not have a clear vision for my career path. The Career Services Office invested a significant amount of time into helping me find the path to an exciting in-house career, for which I feel incredibly fortunate.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
Prioritize networking. I have found that UVA Law attorneys always make time to speak with an alum who reaches out. If possible, face-to-face meetings are best, but you can also request 10 minutes on the phone. UVA Law graduates generally do not flock to Northern California, which provides a unique advantage to those of us who make efforts to network here. Bonds between UVA Law alumni in Northern California are also often strong and quick to form, as we have fewer opportunities than many other alumni to chat about our favorite professors, the charms of Charlottesville and other UVA Law memories. Don't be surprised if you find that a UVA Law alum goes to great lengths to mentor you or help you find a job.

Also, put some thought into where you would like to live. Spending two to three hours commuting from a San Francisco apartment to a Silicon Valley law firm every day can be tough.

If you have an interest in tech, spend some time learning about the industry. As you would expect, many of the legal positions in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, both at firms and at in-house legal departments, are tech-related.
 

Mark BrazealMark Brazeal '93
Chief Legal Officer, SanDisk

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
Beginning with Professor [Stanley] Henderson's Contracts class, I learned to cut to the heart of a matter and how to apply judgment in the exercise of solving problems. The ability to think critically, spot and analyze issues in a logical fashion, and construct rational arguments in support of my point of view really was developed in law school.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
If being in the Bay Area is what you really want, don't give up if you don't get there straight out of school. I interviewed for law firm jobs during a recession, so having never lived in California at that time, I had a harder time getting the same kind of traction with California firms as I did with firms in Washington, D.C. So I went to D.C. and spent several years getting as much training as I could in private practice before an economic upturn (the first dot.com boom) offered me a chance to crack the Bay Area legal market. I guess I am a living example of that old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
 

Ryan CoonertyRyan Coonerty '01
Chief Strategist, NextSpace, and Santa Cruz County 3rd District Supervisor

Why did you choose Virginia Law?
I chose Virginia Law because of its long tradition of educating leaders, including my hero Robert Kennedy ['51].

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
There are many aspects of my education at UVA that prepared me for my career. A couple are: an emphasis on analysis of complex issues, real-world clinics (Child Advocacy and First Amendment), access to alumni and faculty who are world-class thinkers and doers, and a friendly atmosphere that taught me excellence need not require a cutthroat attitude.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
Two things: There is a small but committed group of alums in the area who are willing to help, and the Bay Area is ground zero for entrepreneurship, so don't choose the conventional positions.
 

Gary  GansleGary Gansle '98
Partner/Leader, Northern California Employment Law Practice Group, Squire Patton Boggs

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
While the formal legal education was first-rate, the people at UVA (students, faculty and administration) are what has been a TRUE game-changer for my career. From help getting my first job out of law school, to some of the most loyal clients I have today, UVA people have played critical roles in helping me advance my career and enjoy the type of practice I wanted to build for myself. It is a network of people who WANT to help each other succeed, and it cannot be beat.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
Do not be deterred by the fact that Northern California isn't New York City or Washington D.C. Northern California is where some of the most exciting industries of the future are being born today, and getting to work with them and grow with them makes the practice of law even more exciting and enjoyable.
 

John GlynnJohn Glynn '65
President and CEO, Glynn Capital Management


How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
Although I only practiced law for four years and have been an active venture capitalist in the Silicon Valley technology world for the last 45 years, my Law School education taught me to think clearly and analytically. I learned to weigh the critical factors in dealing with challenging problems and reach a balanced decision. It also taught me to express my thoughts in writing and speech with both clarity and precision. Integrity and transparency with others became a stronger cornerstone of my life. Active class participation improved my self-respect and my ability to deal with others. The Honor System reinforced the important values I have had in my life.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
Law graduates have a significant array of career choices in Northern California. It is important for anyone to find an opportunity that they love and can devote their life to with enthusiasm and vigor. The legal opportunities in large and small corporations are excellent here and with devoted networking and personal marketing are readily available. We have a number of excellent law firms and most of the national law firms have offices here. There are Virginia graduates in most of these firms. The unique opportunity here is to be part of the entrepreneurial world whether in private practice or as part of the management team working to make these small companies successful. The pace of innovation here continues to accelerate and it provides a broad array of excellent career opportunities.
 

Colin GreensponColin Greenspon '04
Managing Director, Mithril Capital Management


How did UVA Law prepare you for a career as a venture capitalist?
By focusing on the intersection of law and finance (before there was an official Law & Business Program), I was able to tailor my education so that the skills I developed at UVA Law were directly applicable in both law and business. Understanding how enterprises both large and small shape their financial plans and go-to-market strategies around legal and regulatory issues has been extremely beneficial when I'm evaluating investment opportunities.
 

Bradley HandlerBradley Handler '95
Co-Founder and Chairman, Inspirato; eBay's first lawyer

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
UVA fostered a sense of independence combined with opportunities to try new things. For example, usually class participation was the start of a conversation and not an opportunity to demonstrate the "right" or "wrong" answer. Understanding a continuum of outcomes is an important part of any career. Or, for example, as managing editor of the Virginia Law Review, I had the independence to set up a whole new system for our printing and distribution. We also changed the investment philosophy of the VLR to build for a financial future. These experiences helped give me the confidence to take future career risks — including leaving the law altogether.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
Be flexible. eBay was looking for business development help when they found me, not legal help. The chance to do legal work came as a result of already being there. Not all risks provide financial success, but they all help you learn and grow.
 

Erin HawthornthwaiteErin Hawthornthwaite '97
Director, Legal, Google

Why did you choose Virginia Law?
First and foremost because of its excellent reputation, top-10 ranking and cost. Also, I went to UVA undergrad so was already well acquainted with the Grounds and Charlottesville — all of which I loved.

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
UVA Law has that certain something — much like undergrad — that attracts and/or makes its graduates really desirable to employers. Professors were excellent. Graduates work hard, play hard, and generally don't take themselves too seriously. Graduates are well-rounded and there is an extraordinarily strong alumni network.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
Come on out! This is the land of great opportunity! There are firms out here doing amazing work of all kinds. Later, when and if you ever want to go in-house, we at Google/YouTube are always looking for great legal hires, but we don't get many people applying from UVA.
 

Christopher HockettChristopher Hockett '85
Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
There are no lawyers in my family, so my only preparation for law practice was what I learned at UVA Law (and by watching TV). One of the key lessons from my experience at UVA was that being a lawyer can be really fun. The academic atmosphere at UVA Law was exciting, intellectually rich, and collaborative. It equipped me with analytical skills and a positive mindset that have been great assets in my career in private practice. Thirty years later, I am still learning and still having fun doing what I do.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
UVA Law has always had a solid beachhead in Northern California, and law firms and companies here are quite receptive to hiring well-trained UVA lawyers. There is significant competition for desirable jobs, however, so I would advise candidates to do careful research on potential employers, make use of the UVA alumni network and persevere in the search for a good match.
 

David HymanDavid Hyman '93
General Counsel, Netflix

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
I've had a wild ride of a legal career ... from the East Coast to West Coast, from dirt lawyer to tech lawyer [Hyman has also worked in transactional real estate affairs as an attorney]. Virginia provided me a great foundation to take on any challenge. I learned to think critically and approach issues in a thorough and logical manner. I learned to communicate effectively and to do so with a collaborative and problem-solving attitude. I didn't merely learn legal concepts at Virginia, but gained valuable insights into how those concepts work in the real world.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
There are a lot of opportunities in Northern California, so one piece of advice is simply to come out and look. My general impression is that the best place for a new graduate to start is with a law firm. Most of the in-house positions will require some level of law firm or other practice experience. Most importantly, be flexible. Northern California is full of entrepreneurs and rapid change. Be willing to take on new challenges and explore new areas of legal practice while at the same time bringing some level of knowledge and expertise to the position.
 

Nicholas JellinsNicholas Jellins '82
Founding Member, The Jellins Group, Mayor, Menlo Park (2000-06)


How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
The Law School grounded my understanding and practice of the law in a framework of ethics and service to the principles of justice.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
New UVA Law graduates seeking to begin practice in Northern California should confidently espouse their heritage of Southern courtesy gained through their experience at the University.
 

Amy LincolnAmy Lincoln '02
Senior Counsel, Environmental and Safety Law Group, Chevron

Why did you choose Virginia Law?
Virginia Law ticked all the boxes on my "what do I want from a law school" list. I knew going into law school that I wanted to practice environmental law, but based on what turned out to be very sage advice from a few practicing lawyers, I was looking for a school with a strong overall program, as opposed to one specialized in environmental law. Virginia strikes a perfect balance on that front: nationally recognized excellence in legal education plus a robust environmental law curriculum thanks to the dedication of Professor Jon Cannon. But what truly put UVA Law over the top for me was the real love for the Law School experience that was so evident in Virginia students and alumni but glaringly absent at the other schools on my short list. To this day, when I say to other lawyers, "I loved law school," they have one of two reactions: They either look at me like I'm crazy or they say, "Oh, you must have gone to Virginia."

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
The legal education at UVA was top-notch — on all the basics, I felt as prepared as anyone coming out of the top-tier U.S. schools. But it's been the more practical classes and experiences at Virginia that have proven most valuable over time. For example, I still have my dog-eared "Accounting for Lawyers" textbook, because I've found nothing endears a lawyer to business clients more than the demonstrated ability to read (and understand) a financial statement and business plan. The Environmental Law Clinic was an invaluable "real world" experience. And I'm sure I wouldn't be where I am today — in a job that I love — without Professor Cannon's mentorship and the perspective he provides from his career in government, private practice and academia. What it comes down to is that UVA Law taught me so much more than just how to "think like a lawyer." It showed me how to move from that rote analysis to generating real solutions.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
The Bay Area legal community is surprisingly small and in some ways quite insular. So take advantage of the UVA alumni database and work those connections. Also, as with any job search, try to put yourself in the employer's position and think about what they are looking for and what they really need. For example, employers here are often cautious about hiring from outside the area because so many people flock to San Francisco or Silicon Valley for the "experience," but with the plan to ultimately settle down somewhere else. So look for ways to show them you're committed to Northern California for the long haul, and be ready to explain why it's right for you. At the same time, own your status as someone different from the candidates they are used to seeing and how your unique background or experience makes you valuable to them.
 

Jay MitchellJay Mitchell '83
Professor of Law and Director, Organizations and Transactions Clinic, Stanford Law School

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
The classes and material were challenging and pushed me to study hard. More importantly, though, were the examples set by, and the inspiration provided by, the professors there. The faculty modeled how to do things right, how to combine intellectual ability with integrity, conscientiousness, curiosity, and civility. To this day I sit up straighter when I think about teachers like Bob Scott and Stanley Henderson.

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
Go for it, but go in with open eyes. There is a lot of great legal work and there are a lot of great firms here, and the place is wildly welcoming of talent. There are also a lot of people who want to be here, so you need to be prepared for a competitive marketplace (as well as crazy housing and other prices). A great thing is that there is such variety and volume in the legal practice and among potential employers generally; you might be on a product team in a startup, you might run a nonprofit (there are lots of them), or you might be in a major firm doing Pacific Rim M&A. All kinds of things to explore out here, and the UVA Law experience will prepare you well.
 

Irene NoguchiIrene Noguchi '06
Producer, KQED, National Public Radio

Why did you choose Virginia Law?
I chose UVA because I was already living in Virginia and fell in love with the open green expanses and quiet stretches of road — perfect for studying ... and roadtrips.

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
I didn't stick with practicing law. I did a complete 180: Right now, I'm a radio producer at KQED, the NPR station in San Francisco. I put together a two-hour, live morning news show. Remember "Talk of the Nation," where listeners around the country could call in and share their opinions on whatever news-of-the-moment the host and guest(s) were talking about? We're like that — but for the San Francisco Bay Area. Our station has 750,000 weekly listeners, and I feel good knowing we help get the discussion going about the latest news or concerns happening locally, nationally and globally. Even though it's completely different from my former corporate law life, I find a LOT of that UVA legal training comes in handy: covering Supreme Court news, booking the right panelists for legal discussions, making sure we have the legal rights to air certain words or audio, making sure the host(s) doesn't say things on live air we could be sued for, etc. Radio production is VERY detail-oriented — a skill we really sharpened in law school.

Also, this has nothing to do with how the school's curriculum influenced me, but some of the best friendships I have today started at UVA Law. The same lawyers who focused on water policy, tax law, government subsidies, etc., are the very same people who encouraged me to follow my gut and pursue my passion for journalism. They've stuck by me and encouraged me all these years, and I know a good chunk of my commitment to (and love for) my current career is thanks to them. I think that says something about the kind of people who go to Virginia Law. 

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?
It's expensive, it's competitive ... but it's totally worth it. If you love the great outdoors, recycling and liberal-leaning politics, it's hard to find a better place (and better weather!) than Northern California. Whether it's the tech sector or nonprofit, people here are passionate about what they do, and it infuses the Bay with a great energy. Alums, look me up if you're ever in town and I'd be happy to show you around our region!
 

Michael PurdyMichael Purdy '06
Corporate Counsel, Google

How did UVA Law prepare you for your practice or career choices?
Honestly, it was probably things like first-year oral arguments, moot court, singing in the Libel Show band and doing gigs around Charlottesville — stuff that required performing at a high level in front of an audience. There's something terrifying yet exhilarating about performing in front of people. If you embrace it and get good at it, whether you're arguing in a courtroom or speaking to a board of directors, it gives you the confidence to take some risks in your career, because you know you can be at your best when the pressure is on. 

Do you have any advice for new UVA Law grads wanting to work in Northern California?

The easiest way would be to get a job at a big West Coast firm. If you're an East Coaster like me and want to work in-house, you should get trained up as a lawyer as quickly as possible, have an interest in tech and get experience in that world through whatever private, public or nonprofit job you're in. Tech very much has its own language, so learn it. You don't have to be a superstar, just be conversant and you'll be miles ahead of most lawyers and business people. Then start dropping resumes, attending conferences, reaching out to alums, meeting people who work in tech. Silicon Valley is enormously dynamic, so job situations are rarely static and advancement is rarely linear, even at established companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and HP. That means you have to take opportunities when they come, not when it's convenient for you. If you get your foot in the door there's a great deal of opportunity, because there's an enormous demand for competent, business-savvy lawyers in Silicon Valley.  

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