March 8, 2022 - MoFo Women

International Women’s Day: Mary Kaiser

Mary Kaiser is a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Global Antitrust Law practice. Mary represents domestic and multinational companies as both plaintiffs and defendants in all aspects of antitrust and competition-related matters, including internal and government antitrust investigations, enforcement proceedings, and class action litigation in federal and state courts. She has defended companies in antitrust and related complex litigation involving claims of price-fixing, monopolization, and refusals to deal, as well as prosecuted antitrust counterclaims in patent and IP infringement matters. Mary also has experience counseling clients on antitrust compliance and providing merger advice. Her clients span various sectors from media to life sciences to computer software.

Why is it important to celebrate Women’s History Month/International Women’s Day?

It is important to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day to shine a light on the stories of women around the world whose accomplishments have been long overshadowed or overlooked. Women have been at the forefront of movements for social progress, equality, and human rights worldwide, and it is vital that we recognize their contributions that are making this world a better place for all of us. It is also important that we reflect on the innumerable ways that women provide care and support for our families and communities, without which social and political progress would not be possible. Particularly as we enter the third year of a global pandemic that has taken a disproportionate toll on women and girls, we should be focused on ensuring that hard-fought gains made in the past several decades are not rolled back.

What are some of the biggest opportunities for women in the workforce today?

Many of the biggest professional opportunities for women are coming from other women. Women are finally in positions of power and influence in organizations and are able to intentionally look for opportunities to hire other women, sponsor junior women on their teams, and promote one another’s accomplishments big and small. That is something I try to keep at the forefront of my practice, seeking out both formal and informal ways to provide mentorship and help advance women in the legal profession and beyond.

Tell us about the woman who most influenced your career and how she motivated you.

One of the most influential experiences of my career was participating in the Death Penalty Clinic at Berkeley Law and working with its co-director, Elisabeth Semel. Lis is a tireless advocate for individuals most in need of quality legal representation, criminal defendants, many of whom are facing the ultimate punishment. She works incredibly hard on behalf of her clients, bringing her analytical mind and a methodical approach to the clinic’s cases and the many other projects she tackles. She is a giant in a male-dominated field, commanding respect by being both respectful of others and excellent at her job. Lis is also a dedicated teacher, mentoring a generation of law students, many of whom have followed her into public interest careers. Lis taught me to be a better lawyer and a better person and instilled in me the importance of service. I will be forever grateful for the year I spent working with her.