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The Recorder Names Michelle Ybarra Among its Next Generation Women Leaders in Tech Law


The Recorder has named Keker, Van Nest & Peters partner Michelle Ybarra among 30 Next Generation Women Leaders in Tech Law. "These lawyers, through their work in courtrooms, boardrooms and classrooms, are helping the law and the legal profession address novel issues raised by technological advances," the publication wrote.

Michelle Ybarra represents cybersecurity company Zscaler, which had one of the biggest tech initial public offering’s of 2018, in multiple patent litigations, including heading up its defense on multiple fronts against rival Symantec. For her profile she was asked: 

Name an important opportunity you’ve had in your career and what you did with it?

As a new partner, a client engaged me to defend a significant case brought by a prickly adversary and insisted I take the lead. She demonstrated enormous trust in me, and I didn’t let her down. We executed an aggressive defense strategy and had the case thrown out on a motion to dismiss while securing a sanctions award against opposing counsel.

What drew you to practicing law in the technology industry?

One of my first cases as a young lawyer involved a patent and antitrust dispute over video game controllers. I deposed one inventor and was hooked. Litigation in the technology industry sets the terms of access to and development of some of the most fascinating inventions of our time. It is an exciting area to practice.

What’s the best piece of career advice anyone ever gave you?

Work twice as hard, and be twice as good.

In 50 words or less, what’s the best way to address tech’s gender gap?

Promote one generation of talented women to positions of leadership and influence, and they will swing open the doors behind them.

Describe yourself in one word.


Who is the most important mentor you’ve had thus far in your career? Why?

The partner on my first big patent case, who let me run the case start to finish and gave me every stand-up opportunity that arose. That experience taught me that I loved litigating intellectual property cases and could win them.

Read the full profile here.