Changing Jobs

Today was my last day as an employee of the Mozilla Corporation. I’m leaving to work at the law firm of Greenberg, Traurig. This was not an easy decision for me to make, but I’m pretty sure that it is the right one, both for me and for Mozilla.


Mozilla has been terrific for me. Working with happy, dedicated, passionate people is always a joy, and I’ve learned a ton from my teammates in legal and from Mitchell. I particularly can’t say enough good things about my boss, Harvey– he’s been a tremendous mentor to me. And of course Mozilla is exactly the kind of job I went to law school to get- directly helping hackers ship world-class software. Leaving today was hard- I’ll miss my coworkers, and I realized over the past few days that some of them may even miss me ;)

So why am I leaving? It’s because I want to continue to improve as a lawyer, and for a variety of reasons, the time-tested route for that is through a law firm. I’ve been learning a lot at Mozilla, but I will have even more opportunities to gain experience and improve my skills at Greenberg. Eventually, this will make me a better lawyer for any client I will have in the future.

What does this mean for the MPL?

We will still ship the new MPL in a reasonably short time frame, for two reasons. First, we’re almost done- go check out the beta, and/or read lwn’s solid article on the process. Second, our primary outside counsel on the project (Heather Meeker) will be my new boss at Greenberg. Both Heather and I are deeply invested in the new MPL, and we want to see it done (and done right!). So we will continue to work with Harvey and Mitchell to complete the new license, and my new address won’t change our focus or the license’s priorities.

What does this mean for this blog?

The blog has been quiet-ish in the past year, and will likely remain so, with more of a focus on personal life and technical questions than legal questions. This isn’t because Greenberg has put any pressure on me, but because I expect to have less time to write, and because some of the lawyerly virtues I’m working on are discretion and brevity… neither of which work together too well with the blog :) But hopefully I’ll still have interesting things to say from time to time.

Contacting Me

As usual, if you’ve got any questions – particularly about the MPL – let me know. My new email address will be [click here], and my personal email address ([click here] will continue to work too.

21 thoughts on “Changing Jobs”

  1. […] login first to post comments. like_show('292164', 0); Niger Luis Villa » Blog Posts Changing Jobs one hour ago Today was my last day as an employee of the Mozilla Corporation. I’m leaving […]

  2. [ed.: this blog operates under a no asshole policy. If you want to question my motives, do it in a constructive, non-aggressive, way.]

  3. Congratulations and good luck, Luis ;)

    I hope one day when you’re a big-time lawyer you’ll have a friend discount… And I hope I never need your services!

  4. I think I understand why you feel you need to do this, but I’m sorry to see you leaving the non-profit space. I really do hope you come back to us soon.

  5. Best of luck in your new endeavorers! I hope you can continue to continue working on FOSS legal issues. We have a desperate need for people like you: those who can bridge the gap between passionate technical people and the legal world.

  6. Congrats on the new job; I’m looking forward to hearing of Greenberg, Traurig’s Open Source contributions :) [Without even knowing what that would be – does it mean pro bono work, open sourced process documentation or …?]

  7. Why not just say it? “I am leaving because in a law firm I will be making much more money than I ever could at the Mozilla Corporation, and doing what lawyers are best at to boot.” This is a perfect example of the dictum “Everybody has two reasons to do something: A good reason and the real reason.”

  8. Hiram: Money is a fact of life, but not life it self. Money is nothing more than a tool.

    Experience and skills was likely to be more important in his situation. I guess the salary was good enough to live on as it was.

  9. Best of luck in your new role, Luis – I look forward to continuing to work with you on various Free software matters.

    Whilst I’m not sure why anyone would wish to question your motives on a personal decision such as this anyway, you have to do what is right for you, and I hope you get everything you are hoping for in your new role, and look forward to seeing you back with a tech. company some point in the future.

    All the best,


  10. […] Villa has left the Mozilla Corporation to work at the law firm of Greenberg, Traurig. "Mozilla has been terrific for me. Working with […]

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