Real Work, Early On

Alex’s Career Story

Alex Barata

Associate Bay Area – San Francisco
Alex Barata
Kirkland believes strongly in early responsibility. From day one, I’ve been staffed on assignments or deals directly with partners.

Culture

Before Kirkland, I was at UC Berkeley following the technology law curriculum. I was involved in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal and was looking for a practice that had a corporate-focused group, which is pretty hard to find. The Kirkland Technology & IP Transactions group was a good fit for me, and I clicked with the people I interviewed with.

It’s an exciting time to be at Kirkland because we’re growing so quickly. Practices are brewing and everyone's busy. You have to be a self-motivated, hard worker to keep up with everything. I’ve had a good experience here, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.

Growth

I’ve grown a lot professionally. Kirkland believes strongly in early responsibility. From day one, I’ve been staffed on assignments or deals directly with partners. I’ve had the opportunity to take the lead very early on, to the point where — a year and a half in — I’m already serving as a mentor to the first-years and helping them learn the ropes as well. The early responsibility has played a significant role in my personal and professional growth.

Training

Particularly within the Technology & IP Transactions practice, there are a lot of rapid developments that change certain standard practices on a yearly basis. Because of that, our group in particular has regular trainings.

Technology is developing at such a rapid rate causing the law around it to do the same, which often involves regulating technology that just came into existence weeks or months ago. You need to keep up with these developments to give clients current advice. That’s pretty exciting.

Opportunities

When I look at some of my counterparts at other firms, I feel I have more substantial work, more client contact and more involvement early on. That has made my time here more meaningful. I’ve worked on a wide variety of matters involving topics from data privacy, to cybersecurity to intellectual property. I’ve had the chance to advise our clients directly, very early on with minimal partner supervision.

With the open assignment system, you’re encouraged to reach out to new partners and work with a variety of people around the world. The system helps you learn a number of different management styles and ways of conducting yourself as a lawyer. Working with so many different people on a regular basis helps you grow quickly.

Involvement

I’m involved in the LGBTQ+ initiative at Kirkland. I’m the LGBTQ+ contact for Berkeley Law School, and I’m one of our office diversity coordinators. Outside of the Firm, I’m on the board of directors of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, a nonprofit focused on providing pro bono legal resources to members of the Bay Area HIV/AIDS community, which the Firm has supported as well. I appreciate the Firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.