Michael Kwun and the Law

I have some law-school era pictures of me, but if you're not visually oriented, maybe you just want to stay here and read the narrative that follows.


I didn't really even consider law school until somewhere in the middle of my undergraduate career, and I didn't give it serious consideration until around a year prior to starting law school. If you're interested in learning more about my pre-law days, you might want to visit my rather informal personal webpage.

Law School

I graduated from Berkeley Law in 1998. Although I'm glad to be done with law school, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I found most of my classes interesting (and some of them absolutely fascinating). The academic environment was, for the most part, wonderful—my classmates were incredibly sharp, and also quite supportive of one another.


First year, I was told, they scare you to death. While some things were a bit intimidating at first, my professors and classmates generally kept things from getting too frightening for me. I took all the typical first year courses, and joined the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (BTLJ) (second semester, I joined the Berkeley Women's Law Journal (BWLJ), too). I also volunteered as a counselor for the East Bay Workers' Rights Clinic, something I continued to do off-and-on throughout law school. That summer, I worked for the Regional Center of the East Bay on issues affecting immigrants with disabilities who wished to become U.S. citizens. I spent about half of my time counseling RCEB clients and social workers about various aspects of immigration law, and the other half doing legal research and writing for a class action against the INS seeking to expedite the naturalization process for RCEB clients and other immigrants with certain types of disabilities.


Second year, they said, they work you to death. And at times it did seem hectic, especially in the fall when I was clerking for the East Bay Community Law Center's housing unit, serving as BTLJ's Web Editor and BWLJ's Production Editor, interviewing with various employers—oh, and taking a few classes, too. Second semester, I entered in my school's upperclass moot court competition. Unlike many other law schools, Berkeley Law's competition is an individual competition—every participant writes her or his own brief, and everyone argues alone. I enjoyed the experience immensely (far more so than first-year moot court), and ended up making it to the semifinals. That summer, I worked for Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & True (now Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff), a San Francisco firm that represents workers in employment disputes. Among the many interesting assignments I had was working on an amicus brief in a Ninth Circuit case about mandatory, pre-dispute agreements to arbitrate, as applied to employee statutory protections such as Title VII.


Third year, I was promised, they bore you to death. While I'm no big fan of boredom, at times I longed for it. In addition to the usual classes, I was one of BWLJ's two Executive Editors, which meant I managed the editing of half of the Journal's full articles. I was also interviewing with firms again in the fall, and then with judges in the spring. Furthermore, I worked in the fall as Professor David Feller's research assistant, editing his course reader for his course on mandatory arbitration in the workplace, and in the spring for Boxer, Elkind & Gerson, in Oakland, researching various issues for several employment discrimination cases. Finally, in the spring I entered my school's upperclass moot court competition again, and this time I won. I argued as Respondent before Judges Patricia Wald (D.C. Cir.), Charles Fried (Mass.), and D. Lowell Jensen (N.D. Cal.).

Post-Law School

After the bar exam, I joined Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, in Los Angeles, as a litigation associate. A year later, I left Christensen, Miller to clerk for the Honorable Claudia Wilken, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, for a year. From October 2000 to mid-January 2004, I was a litigation associate at Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P., in San Francisco. From mid-January 2004 through June 2008, I was Litigation Counsel and then Senior Litigation Counsel and then Managing Counsel, Litigation, at Google. In June 2008, I started at EFF as a Senior Staff Attorney.  In February 2009, I returned to Keker & Van Nest (later, Keker, Van Nest & Peters). In May 2018, along with my colleagues Asim Bhansali and Kate Lazarus, I started my own law firm, Kwun Bhansali Lazarus LLP.