Michelle Visser
United States of America
  • PositionPartner
  • FirmRopes & Gray LLP
  • Age38
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Michelle Visser

Michelle Visser

United States of America
  • Position: Partner
  • Firm: Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Age: 38

What do you do?

I defend companies that have been accused of violating allegedly applicable privacy and/or cybersecurity requirements. I handle the class action litigation, regulatory investigations, and card brand claims that frequently result from these accusations. I also regularly oversee forensic investigations of cybersecurity incidents and provide clients advice regarding their incident response procedures.

Career highlights?

I was part of the Ropes & Gray team that secured a landmark appellate win for medical laboratory LabMD against the FTC. Our team had been thinking about the issues raised in the LabMD appeal for years, so we were thrilled when LabMD selected us to represent it in the appeal and gratified when the Eleventh Circuit vacated the commission’s order.

Advice for young lawyers?

If you’re still in law school, take classes in the area or get involved in groups that are focused on data issues. Increasingly, we’re seeing candidates with relevant educational background. If you’re planning to work at a law firm, do your research into whether the firm truly has a robust practice in this space. Finally, be proactive in sharing your opinions and strategic thoughts. Doing so often leads to increased opportunities.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer...

If I weren’t a lawyer and reality weren’t an obstacle, I would like to have been a professional basketball player in the WNBA, or a news anchor on a major network. Realistically, though, if I hadn’t gone to law school, I likely would have pursued a career in economics.

What’s everyone talking about?

The issues that have been coming up most recently in my discussions with others in the industry include the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, the GDPR, AI-related issues, the implications of the Eleventh Circuit’s LabMD decision, and the likelihood of more regulation in this space.

What will data lawyers be advising on in 10 years?

While the rate of implementation remains unclear, it is likely that we’ll see significant new privacy and cybersecurity regulations in the next 10 years that will drive the need for legal advice and result in new types of litigation.

What do you do to relax?

I enjoy being active, including by running, hiking and chasing after my 17-month-old son.