The first year of practice is an important milestone in any lawyer’s career. To support our associates, MoFo has developed MoFoundations—a tailored learning and development path designed specifically for first-year associates. MoFo’s Excellence in Practice (EIP), part of MoFoundations’ curriculum, took place October 26-28, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Over 100 participants and 23 presenters—mainly comprised of MoFo partners and business professionals—attended the three-day program. Developed by MoFo’s Attorney Learning & Development team, the program fosters legal development and presents fundamental concepts that are essential for day-to-day success.
“Excellence in Practice is the jumping off point for first-year associates to begin developing the foundational skills they need to succeed in their first year of practice,” explains Christie Mizer, MoFo’s Associate Director of Attorney Coaching & Career Development. “EIP accomplished two primary goals. First, because most of these associates participated in a virtual Summer Associate Program, it was an opportunity for them to meet, connect with, and/or deepen relationships with their peers from around the globe. Second, associates participated in programming that introduced them to the professional skills considered critical to their success as a first-year associate at MoFo, including creating workday routines, project management, and unconscious bias, pro bono, and SMART goals.”
According to feedback, participants enjoyed the variety of topics covered during the program and the opportunity to connect with their peers and new colleagues.
“I appreciated the blend of practical advice and general career development advice—such that we got guidance on how to succeed both at MoFo specifically and in our careers more generally,” says Washington, D.C. participant Michaela Thornton.
Aside from building professional and practical skills, the program provided associates with a clearer understanding of what to expect during their first year of practice. “Thursday’s sessions really got me excited to be an associate,” proclaims Los Angeles participant C.B. Rome. “I also felt less nervous about starting billable work after hearing from other associates.”
Attendees also appreciated MoFo’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. “The unconscious bias training was outstanding,” according to San Diego participant Will Baker. “I felt a real connection and comfort with my colleagues because of this training.”
A core value at MoFo is that, by collaborating across departments and regions, we succeed as one firm. With this value in mind, associates concluded the program with insights into how to start strong in their careers as attorneys with accountability and support. As Washington, D.C. participant Richelle Gernan states, “What stood out the most about the Excellence in Practice sessions was the intentionality around building genuine and strong connections with one another.”
To learn more about the Excellence in Practice program and the broader MoFoundations Curriculum, please contact Christie Mizer, Associate Director of Attorney Coaching & Career Development.