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May 10, 2024 - MoFo Women, MoFo Diversity

Faces of MoFo: Bethany Bengfort

Bethany Bengfort

Editors’ Note: Read about Bethany Bengfort, a San Francisco associate in the firm’s Litigation Department, in the latest installment of our ongoing Faces of MoFo series.

Some of my favorite memories from growing up are of lazy Sunday evenings spent with my family, eating popcorn and watching the science fiction or fantasy program du jour (Star Trek was a perennial favorite, although we often ventured into the lesser-known realms). On one such evening, I heard a quote that really resonated with me: “True progress is the product of curiosity and exploration, not achievement or mindless consumption of what is already known.” To me, this meant that if you truly wanted to grow as a person or make an impact on the world, you had to both want to learn new things and actively engage with the process of discovery.

Although my life has changed in many ways since that lazy Sunday evening, I’ve tried to take that lesson to heart—both at MoFo and outside of it. One of the things I like best about my job at MoFo is how much discovery and exploration I engage in on a daily basis; among the core parts of my job are learning about technology—from deconstructing printers to playing video games to testing exercise devices—and figuring out how to translate how the technology works to a lay audience. Another core part of my job is figuring out legal strategy, exploring the law and the facts to determine how to best position the case and what arguments to bring. MoFo’s support for creativity and deep thinking enabled my teams to pursue some truly innovative and case-winning strategies, while keeping the job fun and fresh. And because of MoFo’s support, I’ve been able to take advantage of some really cool opportunities, from arguing complex summary judgment motions to deposing key witnesses.

Before starting my legal career, I worked at a nonprofit that helped people in vulnerable groups develop and maintain small businesses. As part of that job, I traveled to many different parts of the world and learned a ton about the people and cultures there. The job not only helped me develop my curiosity for the greater world, but also gave me greater empathy and understanding of others.

Outside of work, my hobbies also entail a lot of curiosity and exploration. I love to travel and hike, to learn about new places and new foods, and to read about everything from the origin of various cocktails to the history of the little black dress. I love to play games—both video and board games—and to figure out strategy (and solve puzzles) in both. And, of course, I still read and watch a lot of fantasy and science fiction, even presenting at conventions on the legal aspects of various science fiction and fantasy franchises.