Paula Kirlin

Corporate & Securities
General Counsel Services


San Francisco, CA

Paula Kirlin (she/her) is an entrepreneurial attorney with over 16 years of legal and business experience as a venture-backed founder, startup GC, and partner at Holland & Knight. She is also an alum of the Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator. Leveraging this unique background, Paula provides her clients with outside general counsel services and advises on general corporate, product counseling, technology transactions, commercial contracts, regulatory compliance, real estate, land use, environmental, and policy and government relations matters. 

Paula especially loves working with early and growth-stage company founders and business teams that are focused on delivering innovative products and disrupting highly-regulated industries. Her keen understanding of the startup ecosystem, including its business drivers and risk tolerance, enables Paula to provide practical, business-forward advice in support of clients’ business goals. 

Paula is also passionate about sustainable development and housing advocacy. As a startup general counsel, she led legal and policy strategies to deliver innovative housing products in highly regulated jurisdictions. At prior law firms, she advised developers, investors, and public agencies on land use and environmental matters for numerous high-profile mixed-use and transit-oriented developments in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

In addition to her legal practice, Paula is a faculty member of the UC Berkeley MRED+D program where she teaches a land use and environmental law class focused on sustainability and equity. She also serves as a mentor with Techstars Silicon Valley and as an advisor to numerous early-stage startups. Paula is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal and tech industries, and mentors diverse and underestimated founders and lawyers.

Areas of Expertise

Outside General Counsel

Product Counseling

Regulatory and Compliance

Policy and Government Relations

Technology Transactions

Commercial Contracts







Land Use


Sustainability and Climate Change

People Ops



Prior Associations

Holland & Knight LLP

University of California, Berkeley (MRED+D faculty)

Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator (a partnership with Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company)

Better Coliving


DePaul University College of Law

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

DePauw University

Bar Admission