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Morrison and Foerster has proven that is it possible for a law firm to be both laid back and incredibly profitable.
LAWCROSSING FEATURED EMPLOYER OF THE WEEK 1. 800. 973.1177 Morrison & Foerster [Joann Chang] Morrison & Foerster, or “MoFo”, as it is often called, is widely recognized as one of the best ﬁrms in the country to work for - maybe that’s why it’s so hard to get a job there. If you value quality of life and a diverse work- The firm receives numerous awards for its doesn’t seem to be much to complain about place environment above all else in your job exemplary workplace atmosphere, including at Morrison. search, look no further than San Francisco’s being ranked #1 for Diversity and #2 for the Morrison & Foerster. Established in 1883, “Best Firm to Work For” in the 2004 surveys Unfortunately for those not already in the the firm has undergone over a dozen name conducted by vault.com. Women report that firm, the reputation for happy people and changes in its lifetime, but most attorneys the firm provides part-time opportunities as interesting work has made MoFo one of the now affectionately refer to the firm by its well as generous maternity leaves. The firm most difficult places to get hired. At a mini- nickname, “MoFo.” Cute nicknames aside, also maintains a progressive stance on gay mum, first year associates are expected to the law firm, which boasts 1,000 attorneys and lesbian issues, offering domestic partner have graduated from a top law school as well and 19 worldwide offices, not only man- benefits. With an overall ranking of 5th in the as maintained top academic records. Firm ages to maintain one of the best workplace nation by Minority Law Journal in terms of insiders have noted that being liberal and environments in the legal industry, but gets a ethnic minority percentage, MoFo demon- having diverse backgrounds are also valued lot of impressive work done as well. In 2002, strates a serious attitude when it comes to by recruiters. In comparison, making partner the firm cleared almost $500 million in gross diversity issues. seems to be an easier task at this firm. revenue. MoFo has proven that is it pos- Although the road to partner can take up to sible for a law firm to be both laid back and MoFo also gets recognition both inside and 10 years at MoFo, some associates describe incredibly profitable. outside the firm for their commitment to it as being a reasonable expectation. pro bono cases. The firm’s stellar pro bono The dotcom boom in the late 1990s led to program allows many attorneys to bill over considerable growth for MoFo, as it became 200 hours of pro bono work, with the firm deeply involved in both Silicon Valley and considering pro bono cases equal in impor- New York-based internet companies. With tance to paying ones. MoFo has received that work all but gone after the bust, the firm numerous awards for its pro bono program, has tended to focus on finance and intellec- including the 2002 Pro Bono Publico award tual property law and is historically known by the American Bar Association. for its work on intellectual property litigation and corporate finance matters. MoFo lawyers seem to have the best of both worlds, earning top compensation and enjoy- Although associates at MoFo put in long ing a laid-back workplace. The firm pays out hours of hard work typical of any large firm, an average salary of $157,500 and employs a they also experience unparalleled courtesy three-tier bonus system. The bonus system and friendliness in the office. Associates allows different financial incentives at three describe a prevailing atmosphere of mutual separate levels of total billable hours, 1,950, respect and professionalism. And while as- 2,100, and 2,200. Associates know that they sociates have been known to complain about can expect financial rewards even if they do lacking formal training program, they note not work the killer 2,400 hours required at that the informal training opportunities are some firms. And with the firm throwing other great. perks at them, such as Blackberrys and individual offices for associates, there really PAGE 1
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