Bloomberg Law
July 27, 2023, 9:00 AM

They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40 - Lauren Gallo White of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Lisa Helem
Lisa Helem
Executive Editor
MP McQueen

Please describe two of your most substantial, recent wins in practice.

It has been an honor representing YouTube in a series of cases seeking to hold social media platforms liable for terrorist attacks.

My team won dismissals of these cases in the district courts and affirmances in four different courts of appeal. Two made their way to the US Supreme Court this term, and we were thrilled to receive favorable results in Gonzalez and Twitter.

Recently, my team secured a win for YouTube in a case brought by a composer claiming YouTube facilitated infringement of works by small copyright holders. In May, the district court refused to certify the class, and we secured a full dismissal of the case one day before the start of trial in June.

I’ve also been fortunate to act as pro bono counsel with Electronic Frontier Foundation in a constitutional challenge to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and to author amicus briefs advancing public interests in courts nationwide.

What is the most important lesson you learned as a first-year attorney and how does it inform your practice today?

Pursue the subject matter that you are most passionate about. If that’s clichéd advice, there’s a reason for that. It’s just so much easier to work long hours, sweat the details, and produce your strongest work product when you are excited and engaged. It’s also worlds easier to inspire client trust when you are happy with your work.

My path to working on the issues I love—questions about the flow of information in the modern world, and who gets to set the rules around it—wasn’t a particularly straight or short one, and I don’t think it is for most lawyers. But of course, that only makes finding your passion that much more satisfying.

How do you define success in your practice?

Working for Google and other digital media companies on some of their most important pieces of litigation, in areas that I find fascinating, is all I ever wanted as a lawyer.

There’s another aspect of my practice, however, that makes me feel truly successful: the fact that I get to share my enthusiasm for my work with others.

It may not square with the popular conception of the litigator, but I find collaboration much more rewarding than conflict. Working arm-in-arm with talented colleagues at Wilson Sonsini and maintaining client relationships that are built on gratitude and mutual respect is, for me, a tremendous source of joy and professional satisfaction.

What are you most proud of as a lawyer?

Lawyers can be guilty of romanticizing the long hours we spend at our jobs, but I’m more proud of how smart I work than how hard I work. I mean that in the sense of resolving cases efficiently, of course.

But I also take pride in navigating the innumerable small decisions and disputes that arise in any given case with a sure hand. I have cultivated an ability to avoid getting bogged down in the unnecessarily adversarial back-and-forths that regularly occur in litigation, and to instead drive a straight path toward a favorable resolution.

I’m also proud of my recruiting efforts. Recruiting is obviously vital to the future of any firm, and as a leader of our Internet Strategy Group I am always looking to identify the very best talent for our practice and others.

It takes significant effort to do that, and I contribute through my membership on the recruiting committees for our Palo Alto and San Francisco offices, conducting on-campus interviews, and many other ways. That can feel like thankless work, but it’s very gratifying to play a role in steering the growth of the firm.

Who is your greatest mentor in the law and what have they taught you?

Clerking for (now Chief) Judge Mary Murguia on the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit taught me many lessons that remain with me today. She approached her job with humility and respect—something I try to emulate.

She came to difficult legal questions with an open, curious mind, and invited input on them from everyone on her team. In hard-fought litigation, it’s probably inevitable that the conflict between the parties can at times get ugly. But my year with Judge Murguia underlined the fact that the best results come from litigation in which both sides treat each other (and the judge) with respect.

At Wilson Sonsini, Dave Kramer and Brian Willen have also been invaluable mentors to me. Mentorship is a significant time commitment and both Dave and Brian have taken hours if not days out of their lives to advise me about my career and invite me to collaborate in all the many facets of law practice—not just litigation strategy, but management, business development, and day-to-day operations. I wouldn’t be nearly the lawyer I am today without their wisdom.

Tell us your two favorite songs on your summer music playlist.
Although my kids rarely let me listen to “grown-up music,” when they do, I have been loving “I Believe” by Caroline Polachek and “On the Floor” by Perfume Genius.

Lauren Gallo White has secured precedent-setting victories in cases involving Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the First Amendment, federal and state anti-discrimination laws, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and more, her firm says. She authors amicus briefs in federal circuit courts of appeal and in the US Supreme Court pro bono for public interest groups in cases involving free speech, technology, privacy, and intellectual property. She has received the annual Wilson Sonsini Pro Bono Service award four times.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lisa Helem at; MP McQueen at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lisa Helem at; MP McQueen at

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