In today’s episode I speak with experienced privacy and cybersecurity lawyer Kirk Nahra. Kirk is a Partner at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. where he chairs the firm’s Big Data and Cybersecurity & Privacy Practices. He has been a leading authority on privacy and cybersecurity matters for more than two decades and is ranked in Band 1 by Chambers in both privacy and data security. In 2021, he received the Vanguard Award from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) for his exceptional leadership, knowledge, and creativity in privacy and data protection. He counsels clients across industries from Fortune 500 companies to startups but is best known for his work with health insurers, hospitals, service providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other health care industry participants. He has taught privacy issues at several law schools including serving as an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at American University and at Case Western Reserve University. He currently serves as a Fellow with the Cordell Institute for Policy in Medicine & Law at Washington University in St. Louis and as a Fellow with the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology. Kirk is a dedicated mentor in a number of different mentorship groups. He can be found on Twitter @KirkNahrawork.
In our wide-ranging conversation we talk about his path to a practice area that did not exist when he attended law school, the different substantive areas of law that led him to a career in privacy and data security, how small moments can have a huge impact on your professional life, the power of having a plan even if not everything goes according to plan, what privacy lawyers do and how to be a part of this fast-growing space (whether that is at a law firm, in-house, or for another type of business), how job postings should be read as wish lists and not checklists--and why you should not take yourself out of the running for a job just because you don't meet all the listed prerequisites, how to mentor junior lawyers effectively, and how to make the most out of a mentor as a mentee.
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