Editors’ Note: Read about Alex Devine, a New York associate in our Transactions Department, in the latest installment of our ongoing Faces of MoFo series.
As a Millennial coming of age in the 2000s, I always wanted to be an attorney. This was likely the result of my fascination with U.S. history, particularly the great presidents and politicians who all seemed to have previous careers as lawyers. This fascination coupled with my love of legal dramas like Law & Order, White Collar, and Suits made being a lawyer look both thrilling and rewarding. Complex fact patterns, high-rise offices, and the ability to help change lives and make a difference were enough to get me to commit to the answer of “lawyer” when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. However, growing up, I did not know any lawyers, much less any who looked like me.
I was raised in New York primarily by my grandmother, a retired domestic worker. Although we did not have much money, my grandparents always instilled in me the importance of education and its correlation to success. Therefore, my then-lofty goal of becoming a lawyer as an economically disadvantaged minority growing up in NYC became one tantamount to becoming educated and successful.
My journey to MoFo began on my first day of law school while having a conversation with my friend Sam. Sam—a year ahead of me at the time—enthusiastically described his experience that past summer at the firm. As a summer associate and Wetmore Fellow, he relayed to me that he had been given the opportunity to work on high-profile deals while receiving top-tier mentorship. This conversation led me to solidify MoFo as my top choice when applying for summer associate positions.
As luck would have it, I received and accepted an offer from MoFo to join the firm as a summer associate, Wetmore Fellow, and subsequently as an associate in the Finance and Projects Group. Like my friend before, I had the same opportunity to receive exceptional mentorship and interface with our innovative clients and also found MoFo’s camaraderie and collaboration to be unparalleled. At all levels, there’s a dedication to attorney diversity, development, and delivering high-caliber work. The partners and associates I work with are always helping me focus on the types of work I am interested in, from high-profile deals to pro bono initiatives, while providing top-notch technical training and diverse experiences. Although there will always be more work to be done to make law firms more diverse places, MoFo has diversity and inclusion embedded in every scrap and helix of its DNA. The Black Affinity Network, for example, has provided me with caring mentors and friends who share in the experience of navigating a law firm as a Black associate.
Outside work, I enjoy being a “foodie” and exploring new restaurants and cuisines, playing and enjoying live music, surfing, running, and attending live sporting events. Given how time-consuming life as an associate can be, I am grateful for MoFo’s commitment to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, which has ensured that I am able to continue enjoying my hobbies and life outside of work.