Making a Positive Impact Together
February 14, 2024 - MoFo Life, MoFo Community

MoFoundations MoFo Story: Keniece Gray

mofoundations keniece gray

Editor’s note: Read about litigation associate Keniece Gray, who participated in the 2023 MoFoundations Program in our Washington, D.C. office, in this installment of our MoFo Stories series.

My MoFo journey began in fall 2020 and has been a demonstration of mutual commitment to mentorship and professional development since. Initially, my positive interactions with MoFo attorneys and interns during my 2020 SEO Law Fellowship encouraged me to seek out the opportunity to work at MoFo in pursuit of my goal to receive exceptional legal training and promote DEI in the legal profession. My pleasant experience with the MoFo team during the 1L recruitment season solidified my interest in the firm. I appreciated the constant updates from the recruitment team and MoFo attorneys being accessible for informational interviews and willing to provide support during the process. Also, at the time of 1L recruitment, I had a keen interest in labor and employment law, and the D.C. office had recently begun further building an Employment & Labor Group, and I appreciated the idea of being a part of a growing practice.

My experiences at MoFo over the past three years have instilled confidence that working at the firm provides an opportunity for me to take ownership of my career, build an impactful legal practice, continue contributing to the progression of inclusivity in the legal profession, receive training and support from attorneys who are among the best in their field, and be connected to an influential alumni network.

My first summer associateship at MoFo established a solid foundation for success to build on and put a spotlight on the firm’s value for mentorship and feedback. I met a diverse group of attorneys through completing substantive legal assignments covering a myriad of matter topics, including labor and employment and education—two of my primary legal interest areas. The firm welcomed my curiosity about legal matters and inquisitiveness about DEI progression. I co-authored blog posts with former SCOTUS clerks and completed impactful pro bono work that involved co-drafting a public response to OMB comment request for methods to advance federal workforce diversity and speaking on the firm’s Intentional Impact podcast series. By the end of my first summer associateship, I received informal and formal mentorship from attorneys at every level of practice, including the firm chair, D.C. office leadership, and junior and senior associates across the firm.

My clerkship and second summer associateship at the firm provided the opportunity to work directly with attorneys and clients on litigation and transactional matters in preparation for matriculation as a first year. Through work assignments and client interactions, I gained exposure to the breadth and depth of work in my practice areas of interest and appreciated the way the teams I worked with considered my input.

Current MoFo attorneys and alumni have continuously displayed an eagerness to support my development as a law student and continue to do so in my tenure as an associate. For example, during law school, my partner mentors advised me on classes to take and experiential learning to pursue to enrich my legal skillset. During the 3L year, I was invited to stay connected with MoFo colleagues by attending local office events and conferences, including the ABA’s Labor and Employment conference. I also was fortunate to meet U.S. Supreme Court Justice and MoFo alumna Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and was elated to receive her encouragement to do well at MoFo and finish law school strong.

Since becoming an associate in November 2023, the MoFo attorneys and staff I work with most closely have invested in my development by supporting my learning, engaging in the feedback process, and collaboratively planning for success in a way that incorporates my experiences at the firm and beyond. I appreciate the culture of support and encouragement for career ownership that I’ve experienced thus far. 

Attending MoFoundations reaffirmed that firm leadership is committed to providing its attorneys with resources we need to effectively do our jobs and equipped me with fundamental tools to effectively utilize firm resources. Resourcefulness is an essential skill. One of our responsibilities as attorneys is to find solutions to complex issues for our clients, and to do that we have to be able to decipher how to figure things out. When computing how to get things done, there are two factors that must be in the equation: a resourceful mentality and resource availability. The best attorneys know how to leverage both factors to serve clients. MoFoundations introduced our class to the abundant resources the firm supplies its attorneys to promote progress in our professional and personal lives. More importantly, MoFoundations provided a great reminder that people at MoFo enjoy helping each other deliver great client service, which increases my comfortability with asking questions.

As I begin my legal career, I am looking forward to optimizing opportunities to sharpen my ability to be an effective legal advocate, building a practice that yields impact in various sectors, doing pro bono work, learning from my colleagues and mentors, and leveraging my experiences to create a more inclusive legal profession.

I understand that my career is a marathon rather than a sprint. Every assignment, every workshop, every event along the journey presents a learning opportunity, and I plan to approach my career with a growth mindset to make the most of the opportunities. I am eager to see what the future holds and even more excited to be attentive to the process.