Editors’ Note: Read about C.B. Rome, a Los Angeles associate in our Litigation Department, in the latest installment of our ongoing Faces of MoFo series.
For as long as I can remember, becoming a lawyer was always in the back of my mind. But when I graduated college, I realized that I wanted to gain more experience before committing to the significant undertaking of law school. I had spoken to enough lawyers in my time in D.C. to know that law school was a commitment, and I knew I wasn’t ready quite yet. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I started my career at CNN in Atlanta in an entry-level position, printing scripts for anchors and running the teleprompter, and eventually working my way up to producing segments for correspondents in D.C. But I began to yearn for more hands-on experience, rather than just reporting on it. I left journalism to dedicate myself to the communities and issues that mattered to me. I spent the next four years in advocacy communications, working at organizations like Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the LA LGBT Center, and the Downtown Women’s Center.
In all the roles I held before becoming a lawyer, I harnessed the power of storytelling and advocacy to amplify the voices of the communities I cared about. And I enjoyed this work. But in all my prior jobs, my roles had limits. There was only so much I could do. But I began to see more and more the ability lawyers had to enact the kind of transformative change I was seeking in these spaces. It was through these experiences that I finally felt ready and motivated to pursue a career in law.
I chose to attend Loyola Law School because of the school’s commitment to public interest and criminal justice. I know people say that law school can be tough, and it is, but I also immediately fell in love with it. It truly felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I found myself engaged with the content of my classes and motivated by the intense learning process.
I know that my success in law school, and after it, was largely due to the incredible mentors I found at Loyola. As a first-generation lawyer, I was mystified by much of law school and the legal world. But thankfully, even as early as orientation, I made connections that would lead to mentor relationships that continue until this day. I had so many people in my corner, guiding me, supporting me, cheering me on, and helping to shape not just the lawyer I would become one day, but the person I had always wanted to be.
It was one actually a law school professor who first told me about Morrison Foerster. We had been discussing firms I should look into, and he thought I would be a “great fit at MoFo.” After researching the firm, I quickly realized that he was right; Morrison Foerster had all the things I was looking for and more: commitment to diversity, wide range of pro bono opportunities, high-stakes litigation, and focus on mentorship. I knew this was the place for me.
Since joining the firm, I have found that everything people told me about MoFo was right, and then some. In my time at the firm, I have cultivated wide-ranging mentor relationships, ranging from mid-level and senior associates, to partners and global co-chairs of practice groups. Every person I reach out to, no matter what office, responds with enthusiasm and an eagerness to help me in my career. As a queer woman, I have also been encouraged by the many queer women partners I’ve had the chance to connect with. Seeing queer women in leadership positions and discussing their journeys at MoFo was integral to being able to see myself growing at the firm. Beyond the connections with other queer women, some of my greatest resources at the firm have been other partners, of counsel, and associates in the LGBTQ community. Through these relationships I have begun developing a practice that I find exciting, challenging, and fulfilling.
Some of the work I am most proud of since coming to MoFo are the pro bono opportunities I have been able to contribute to. My pro bono work has largely focused on the access to reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming care, both issues I’m incredibly passionate about. Most recently I have worked on legal name and gender-marker petitions through different partner organizations. Being able to use the legal system to give back to the LGBTQ+ community is some of the most rewarding and impactful work I’ve had the opportunity to work on.
Outside of work, I love to spend time with my fiancé and our two dogs. I enjoy making pottery and baking but have the most fun when making things for other people.