May 27, 2020 - MoFo Diversity

MoFo’s Technology Transactions Group Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

MoFo’s Technology Transactions Group has always recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion. That is why the U.S. group, which is 68% diverse, continues to leverage the creativity and innovation its members bring to our clients’ most difficult legal and commercial issues.

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we asked members of the group to share their thoughts on the month-long celebration, advice for the next generation of law students, and why diversity is crucial to providing innovative solutions for our clients.

Dr. Can Cui is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office. His practice focuses on China-related life sciences transactions, including cross-border technology licensing and acquisitions, collaboration and strategic partnerships, and joint ventures and other forms of investments.

Why do you enjoy working at MoFo?

Having worked in MoFo’s offices across the Pacific, it has been an honor and privilege to work with such a diverse and talented group of attorneys, and I take great pride in being an Asian Pacific member of the MoFo family.

Jackie Li is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office. Jackie’s practice focuses on technology and intellectual property matters. She has also advised clients on the commercial, IP, and technology aspects of M&A transactions.

What piece of advice do you have for the next generation of law students?

I would encourage Asian Pacific Americans to pursue a career in law knowing that there is strong support for diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.

Mai Zymaris is an associate in the firm’s Boston office. Mai’s practice focuses on technology and intellectual property matters, particularly in the life sciences arena. Mai drafts and negotiates license agreements and general commercial agreements.

What does Asian Pacific American Heritage month mean to you?

I’m humbled by so many courageous pioneers and supporters who paved the way for Asian-Americans to establish ourselves in varied walks of life. I am determined to repay my gratitude by making the road easier for those just beginning their journey.

Evangeline Phang is an associate in our San Francisco office. Prior to joining MoFo, she worked at the UCSD School of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her diverse experiences also include internships with the State Department at the U.S. Mission to the EU, where she was granted top security clearance, a Fortune 500 company, and a startup corporation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What piece of advice do you have for the next generation of law students?

I feel incredibly lucky to be part of a diverse practice group at MoFo, working in a diverse location, and collaborating with diverse clients. That is my privilege, so it is important for me to remind other first-generation immigrants and students of this: never underestimate your perspective, grit, and perseverance. You belong.

William Schwartz is a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office. His practice focuses on the representation of companies in business transactions and counseling involving intellectual property and technology, including licensing, development agreements, distribution and commercialization activities, joint ventures, outsourcing, and other services arrangements. He was the founding co-head of MoFo’s Intellectual Property Group and has served as the firm’s managing partner.

How do clients benefit from having diverse teams of lawyers working for them?

Morrison & Foerster has long been committed to diversity of both background and experience, and our Technology Transactions Group reflects that commitment. Almost half of our U.S.-based lawyers have Asia Pacific backgrounds or have worked and lived for extended periods of time in the Asia Pacific region. The resulting diversity of knowledge and skills—including cultural sensitivities, business instincts, and language abilities—raises the bar for our entire team, making us better as lawyers and better at meeting the needs of clients. This is especially so for technology clients, since so much technology work involves collaboration between companies—and people—in the U.S. and the Asia Pacific region.

Read more about our culture of diversity and inclusion at the firm.