As part of MoFo’s Leaders of Influence campaign, Christin Hill, partner in Morrison Foerster’s San Francisco office, discusses her leadership style, how she supports diverse women associates who are starting their careers, and surprises she has faced after becoming a leader at the firm.
Christin is a member of the Securities Litigation, Securities Enforcement, and Investigations + White-Collar Defense practice groups. She has extensive experience representing clients in securities class actions, derivative actions, and other complex civil litigation in both federal and state courts, as well as in government and internal investigations.
In what ways do you support diverse women associates who are beginning their careers?
I consider it my duty and my honor to lift others – and particularly diverse women associates – as I climb. I do this by actively mentoring diverse women at all levels, including high school students, college students, law students, and certainly our associates. For me, active mentoring means taking a vested interest in my mentees’ career progression, understanding what they want to achieve and doing everything in my power to guide them to that outcome, even if that outcome is not being a Big Law partner.
What skills do you use most often in your leadership role?
One of my greatest strengths as a leader is empathy. I genuinely care about each member of my team. I care about them as a worker, and I care about them as a person. So, I ask them a lot of questions: What other matters are the working on that may create competing deadlines? What personal events are coming up that we could celebrate? What are their career goals? By leaning more about my team members, I’m better equipped to mentor and support them as individuals and create an environment where they are better equipped to meet client needs.
What leadership skills are you continuing to work on?
Delegation. Delegation is essential to accomplishing more as a leader. But delegation also takes time. When I delegate, I must make sure that I provide meaningful instructions, check in along the way, and provide feedback. I recognize the huge reward of this investment. Not only do I get more done in the short term, I develop stronger associates who can accomplish more in the long term.
Were there any surprises you faced after becoming a leader at the firm?
I’m continually surprised and impressed by the hard work of our staff. Even as a summer associate, I recall being amazed at the hard work of our recruiting team. They went above and beyond to give the summer associates an exceptional experience. Now that I’m a partner and a leader at the firm, I appreciate the hard work of various groups: from marketing to attorney development, to the DEI team. It takes a lot more than lawyers to help a firm run smoothly.
If you participate in firm or office initiatives, please mention the initiatives you are working on as well as the impact you hope to achieve?
I have several leadership roles at MoFo: I’m the SF hiring partner; I’m on the board of directors; and I’m a member of our Partnership Review Committee. Being the SF hiring partner is the most work, but also the most rewarding of my leadership roles. I love getting that first look into the associate pipeline. Our summer associate program is critical to our ability to meet client needs in the future, and to a foster a culture that allows everyone to thrive. It is a privilege to play a role in recruiting the next generation of MoFo lawyers.