Editors’ Note: As part of our ongoing Faces of MoFo series, New York litigation associate Christina Golden shares her career path that led her to MoFo.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” -Audre Lorde
In some ways my story may feel quintessentially American: I am a small-town girl who dreamed of “making it” in the big city. My journey began in Xenia, Ohio, and included a stop for high school in Louisville, Kentucky, before landing at Columbia University in New York City for both college and law school. When I arrived in New York, I planned to attend business school after college and initially focused on economics and mathematics courses. But, like so many young people, an unexpected source of inspiration changed my course.
In the spring of 2006, as I concluded my time studying abroad in London, I contemplated summer internships that were both fulfilling and educational. I stumbled upon an internship program for Columbia students through the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation that places students with different criminal justice organizations throughout the five boroughs. Fortunately, one of these partner organizations agreed to a phone interview as I was overseas and offered me a position, and the rest is, as they say, history.
I spent that summer working in the Brooklyn Supreme Court with an alternative-to-incarceration program for adolescents. My days were spent largely observing attorneys and judges in court. I was amazed at the fast-paced atmosphere and the attorneys’ command of the courtroom and their ability to think on their feet in defense of their clients. After that experience, I knew I wanted to switch gears and head to law school.
In the fall of 2006, when I returned to Columbia for my final year, I pursued a legal assistant position at a law firm to better understand civil litigation. Luckily, I obtained a position with a firm in New York where I spent two years observing attorneys as they deftly handled complex commercial litigation. Two years later, I found myself back at Columbia for law school.
In law school, I was blessed with amazing mentors and took advantage of the opportunity to participate in Columbia’s clinical legal education program. As a member of the Child Advocacy Clinic/Adolescent Representation Project, I worked with young people, who were aging out of foster care, on a variety of issues. In this clinic, I stopped one client’s eviction by working tirelessly with my team over the winter break drafting court filings and appearing in court. Because of my efforts, I received the Clinical Legal Education Association’s Outstanding Student Award.
After law school, I joined the Wilmington, Delaware office of a major international law firm where I practiced for over three years on matters that took me to venues across the country. In one such matter, I found myself working with a team of brilliant attorneys from Morrison & Foerster as co-counsel. My work with them drew me to the firm.
I chose MoFo because of its sophisticated practice and clients, the people, and the culture. Since I joined the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar-Defense Practice Group, I am pleased to find it is everything I hoped for and more. Not only am I able to work on novel, high-stakes legal issues, but I am also actively engaged as a firm citizen. Notably, I serve as an inaugural member of the Diversity Strategy Committee’s Associate Advisory and Engagement Committee as a voice for other associates on matters of diversity and inclusion.
In addition to nurturing my professional development, MoFo encourages and facilitates my involvement in professional activities outside of the firm, including my service as a member of Legal Services NYC’s Pro Bono Associate Advisory Board.
I am thrilled to be a part of the MoFo team!
Outside of the office, I enjoy traveling to places like Bali.