A History of Pioneering, Distinguished, and Dedicated Women

MoFo Women lawyers represent many important milestones and stories in our firm’s history. Their impact and contributions to our firm, and the broader legal profession, remain indelible. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we would like to honor some of the many women who have blazed trails for us and continue to shape our firm today.

 

With a Ph.D. in biochemistry Dr. Gladys Monroy combined scientific excellence and legal prowess during her entire tenure at MoFo. While at the firm, Gladys served as co-chair of the firm’s Patent Group and was recognized as Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year in 2012 by Chambers Women in Law USA. One of Gladys’s early assignments was to write the patent application for the technology that led to a groundbreaking blood-screening test for the hepatitis C virus, a key cause of liver disease. She wrote five successful hepatitis C-related patent applications for biotech pioneer Chiron Corporation. The patent portfolio is now worth an estimated $1 billion and has led to major advances in the fight to control the spread of hepatitis C.

 

Linda Shostak recently retired from MoFo after a distinguished 43-year career as a nationally recognized litigator and trial lawyer in San Francisco. Linda exemplifies the cutting-edge innovations that women can make at our firm. She counts many firsts among her achievements: the first woman to lead a practice group, the first woman to chair the Partnership Review Committee, and the first woman member of the firm’s Partner Compensation Committee. As the second woman to make partner at the firm, she was also the longest-tenured woman lawyer and partner in the firm’s history.

 

In Memoriam: Rachel Krevans
Recognized by colleagues, clients, and opposing counsel alike as a commanding presence, Rachel earned her reputation as a fiercely intelligent and fearless trial lawyer. In her more than three decades with MoFo, she changed the face of IP litigation, becoming one of the most successful and compelling intellectual property lawyers in the world. Rachel began her career as a tax attorney at MoFo in 1985, but her passion for the exhilaration of the courtroom motivated her to refocus her practice on patent and other intellectual property litigation, later rising to co-chair of the firm’s global IP practice. Rachel was also passionate about pro bono work, taking on advocacy for AIDS patients, among many other projects. A strong advocate for diversity in corporate law, she influenced a generation of young attorneys, personally mentoring many of them. Rachel leaves an enduring legacy on MoFo and the legal profession.

 

Recently retired from MoFo, Michèle Corash was the 2010 recipient of the Bob Raven Award, honoring a partner who exemplifies the qualities that were part of Bob’s character and legacy: respecting all people, fostering teamwork, committing to the mentoring and training of younger lawyers, demonstrating leadership within the firm, maintaining the highest level of ethics and integrity, and providing legendary service to clients. She served as general counsel of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1979 to 1982, and before that she served as deputy general counsel to the U.S. Department of Energy and special assistant to the chair of the Federal Trade Commission. At MoFo, Michèle served as a strong mentor and role model to partners and associates. Additionally, she remains active in professional and public service activities and serves as an expert witness and consultant.

 

Kathi Pugh’s name remains synonymous with outstanding pro bono leadership in the legal industry. From her first year as an associate at MoFo (joining the firm in 1990) through her retirement from the firm in 2013 and beyond, Kathi tirelessly championed a range of pro bono cases and causes, from access to legal services to disability rights. Kathi served as our pro bono counsel for 20 years. During her tenure, she built a model for the practice that—in the words of senior pro bono counsel Jennifer Brown—“has proved both enduring and flexible.” The annual Kathi Pugh Award for Pro Bono Service recognizes the legacy that she established and celebrates the values, enthusiasm, and compassion that she brought to the program at MoFo.

 

In Memoriam: Shirley Hufstedler
Shirley Hufstedler remains a central figure in MoFo’s history of pioneering women. In 1961, California Governor Pat Brown appointed her as a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, the only woman of 120 judges on the court at the time. In 1968, President Johnson appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where, during her tenure, she was the only woman federal appellate judge in the United States. In 1979, President Carter chose Shirley for his cabinet as the nation’s first Secretary of Education. She was the first MoFo woman lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court in Exxon v. Sofec. A trailblazer throughout her life, Shirley continued to work as senior of counsel and appellate specialist at our firm shortly before her passing at the age of 90.

Read more about MoFo’s long history of advocating for and advancing women here.