After spending the summer at Morrison Foerster’s San Diego office, I think there are many answers to the question, “Why MoFo?” First, the summer associates. The modus operandi at MoFo is to hire kind, smart people. My fellow summer associates were, as expected, intelligent, successful, and well rounded. But I was astounded by how genuine and friendly everyone was. This made for a positive work environment not only among the associates, but among partners as well.
Second, there is a strong emphasis on teaching and explaining. The learning curve for a law student (and eventual first-year associate) is steep. There are many aspects of practicing the law that are not taught in school. But the attorneys at MoFo recognize this as a learning opportunity and are there to help. This past summer, I would receive an assignment, and within minutes an associate or partner would knock on my door and ask if they could explain the context surrounding the assignment or deal. Explaining the big picture of an assignment makes the work more enjoyable, and I believe it will help me do better work in the long run. Even though everyone was busy with their own jobs, they were more than willing to take the time to give me a better understanding of the work we do.
Third, there is a trust and mutual respect among the attorneys. The firm is flexible with at-home and in-office working. Some come into the office every day, others once a week. Everyone respects each other’s time and trusts that they will get their work done. Everyone has their own responsibilities outside of work that must be dealt with, and I appreciated this mutual understanding; the work will get done and everyone may enjoy flexibility in doing so. With the high stress and long hours that are inherent in “Big Law,” flexibility is key to maintain a positive work-life balance that is catered to the individual.
Lastly, I appreciate the work, training, and collaboration across firms. MoFo works with interesting clients, some of whom are on the front page of the news, creating groundbreaking technology or discovering cures to rare diseases. This makes for challenging and exciting work opportunities that I had hoped for going into Big Law. However, there are also endless opportunities to help in other areas of the law. For example, I am excited to work with the pro bono team. Everyone, from the recruiters to the partners, genuinely listens to your interests and want to align you with pro bono work that fits your expertise or passion. The committees and groups in the firm also organize events and panels to listen and learn from a variety of attorneys about the paths they have taken professionally. I enjoyed attending the Women’s Strategy Committee meetings. The committee sincerely wants to make everyone’s experience at MoFo positive and make sure the firm offers as much opportunity and assistance to anyone who needs it.