Ten Things You Don’t Know About Barristers’ Treasurer Manny Alvarez

Manuel Alvarez

Manuel Alvarez

Manny Alvarez is the general counsel and chief compliance officer of Affirm, Inc., a San Francisco-based startup offering innovative point-of-sale consumer credit alternatives. Learn more about Alvarez, who also serves as treasurer of the Barristers Board of Directors:

    1. Lawyer jokes offend me because they’re unimaginative. I could forgive them more easily if they were actually funny.


    1. As a first-year associate, I worked with Judge David Garcia (Ret.) on a Special Master’s Investigation in Puerto Vallarta. We met witnesses at curious locations like a Mexican prison and a vacant office on a dusty village road. It remains one of the top three coolest experiences of my legal career.


    1. I got my first “real” job at age 12 chopping and loading Christmas trees at a fresh-cut farm for $3.75 per hour plus tips. I’m still not sure how many labor-code violations the owner committed when he hired me.


    1. I worked many odd jobs growing up. For $60, I scraped barnacles from the bottom of a 25-foot sailboat using a wetsuit, goggles, deep breaths, and a garden hoe.


    1. I joined my high school swim team even though we didn’t have a pool — we used a rival school’s pool for 60 minutes a day. Incidentally, we were terrible.


    1. My senior year of college, I took an introductory wine-tasting course on a pass/fail basis. The final exam had questions like, “I have a floral bouquet, taste like cherry and barnyard, and prefer rocky, eastern-facing slopes. What am I?” I barely passed.


    1. I’ve practiced in SF, LA, and DC, and SF seems the most collegial. I bet it’s the wine.


    1. In my two and a half years as a law firm associate, I represented three prisoners pro bono to get deposition and courtroom experience. Looking back, it probably wasn’t very smart to bill so many pro bono hours in 2008 and 2009. I’m grateful for all the partner support I got when the firm finance committee sought an existential justification.


    1. I love road trips. I’ve driven cross-country twice, once along I-10 and once along I-70. Some highlights include Prairie Dog Town in Oakley, KS and Bluegrass Tavern in Lexington, KY.


  1. I spent a lot time as a kid playing video games at my friendly neighborhood liquor store. I’m not sure I’ll let my kids do the same.