San Francisco-based Morrison & Foerster LLP - popularly known as MoFo - is a full-service law firm with over 1,000 lawyers in 15 offices spread across United States, Asia and Europe. The firm caters to some of the largest financial institutions, Fortune 100 companies, and most innovative technology and life sciences companies in the world. MoFo is committed to serve in the legal profession, to the communities and for pro bono services.
The firm generates nine-figure revenues each year and consistently pulls an attractive profit for its partners. MoFo boasts of a long client-list including some of the biggies like Intel, Yahoo!, Toshiba and UPS. Morrison & Foerster was the chief international counsel for the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games of 2008. The firm encourages innovation in law practice to solve the complex problems of its clients.
MoFo has lawyers with diverse experience in the fields of real estate, securitization, joint ventures corporate, finance and financial services, life sciences and technology besides several others. The firm's largest practice area is litigation, with 497 attorneys.
Over 120 years ago, Alexander Morrison - a graduate of UC Hastings College of Law and Thomas V. O'Brien founded today's Morrison & Foerster. Set up at San Francisco, USA in 1883, MoFo became one of the first law firms to hire female lawyers in 1967. It became a national firm in the US by opening an office in Washington DC, in spite of the scores of socio-economic crisis prevailed globally and in the US during that period.
In 1980, MoFo became an international law firm by opening office in London and continued expanding its operations towards Asian countries. In the late 80s, MoFo merged with a prominent New York litigation boutique, Parker Auspitz, while in the year 1991, the firm merged with a patent boutique, Ciotti & Murashige.
MoFo has played a key role in some of the high-profile legal battles. Some of the indicative cases are listed below.
MoFo represented IT major Oracle in a patent and copyright tussle with internet search giant Google over the java-based heart of the Android operating system. The case, Oracle v/s Google, was dubbed the "World Series of IP trials" by the presiding judge.
In the M&A space, MoFo shepherded a series of seminal transactions to closing, including representing Novellus in its $3.3 billion merger with Lam Research, the largest announced stock-for-stock tech deal in 2011.
MoFo also handled the $5 billion sale of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies to Western Digital, and is continuing to represent Intel in a string of key strategic acquisitions such as its $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee and its $1.4 billion acquisition of the Wireless Solutions Business of Infineon Technologies AG.
Amid economic doldrums, MoFo played a major role in the largest bankruptcy of 2011, the massive Chapter 11 of MF Global, in which the firm represented the trustee, Louis Freeh. The firm was also involved in one of the highest profile cases of the bankruptcy of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Awards and recognitions
MoFo is consistently included as one of America's top 20 law firms in The American Lawyer's A-List. Firm's lawyers too have brought some of the notable national and international recognitions for the firm.
Chambers Asia recommended 26 of our practice areas in its 2012 guide.
In the second edition of "Best Law Firms," published in 2011 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, MoFo ranked as one of the top 10 law firms nationwide - out of more than 9,500 firms in the survey - based on the number of top-tier national rankings earned.
In the 2011 edition of the Financial Times U.S. Innovative Lawyers Report, client feedback placed MoFo in the FT Law 25 - a list of the most innovative firms in the United States.
In 2010 and 2011, M&A Advisor named us "Law Firm of the Year."
In 2008 Morrison & Foerster was crowned at the 2008 ALB Japan Law Awards for M&A Deal of the Year and Japan Deal of the Year.
Morrison & Foerster looks for individuals of exceptional intelligence who can think on their feet and are eager to tackle complex problems. The hiring decisions are not based on grades alone, but an individual, whose academic and other achievements evidence their talent, motivation, energy, and creativity, is preferred over others. The firm also looks for entrepreneurial spirit, drive, and confidence.
MoFo is active in hiring through campus recruitment's as well as from the job fairs. The firm visited about 18 law schools and participated in nearly 5 job fairs during 2011.
Morrison & Foerster has a long history of nurturing tolerance, inclusion and mutual respect. The firm has an active diversity program for more than fifteen years, which focuses on issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, identity and expression. MoFo consistently ranks at the top of surveys addressing workplace diversity, the hiring of minority lawyers and women.
Women, minority and openly gay and lesbian lawyers currently serve, or have served, in important leadership positions within the firm, including as Chair of the Firm, as Department Chairs, as Practice Group Heads, on our Executive Committee and on our Board of Directors.
Summer associate program
Morrison & Foerster offers a summer program, not as lavish as other places, but it gives an idea of what the firm and the office is all about. Associates are given freedom for getting assignments and in terms of social events.
Associates appreciate the on-the-job training at the firm. In 2010, Morrison & Foerster LLP had a class of 74 summer associates. All summer associates are paid $3,080 per week, regardless of class. Even when the firm deferred the start dates of its class of 2009 first year associates, it provided them with a $5,000 monthly stipend during that time.
Salary & benefits
For an entry-level lawyer, compensation for the year 2012 is $160,000 per year. MoFo awards merit- and hours-based bonuses, while bonus amounts vary from year to year and by class year. It pays for bar review/bar exam fees and offer a bar study stipend. The firm also offers a judicial clerk bonus, salary credit, and partnership credit for judicial clerks joining the firm from a U.S. federal court, including the Federal Circuit, or the highest state court.
MoFo's flexible benefits plan allows each attorney to design his or her own benefits package to meet specific needs for both self and family. Benefits available to dependents include medical, dental, vision, spouse/domestic partner life, child life, accidental death & dismemberment, and long term care.
Associates are given three to four weeks of vacation time. Additionally, the Firm offers a variety of paid leaves including medical, maternity, paternity, and adoption leave.
401(k)/IRA/Other Retirement Plan
Bar Association Fees
Business Casual Dress Code
Domestic Partner Benefits
Employee Assistance Program
Family/Dependent Care Leave
Flexible Spending Account/Pre-Tax Option
Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term Disability Insurance
Medical Spending Account
Short-term Disability Insurance
Technology (Laptop, PDA, etc.)
Benefits Package: Morrison & Foerster's flexible benefits plan allows each attorney to design his or her own benefits package to meet specific needs for both self and family. The plan includes: a choice of medical and dental plans, vision coverage, life insurance, accidental death & dismemberment, long term care, disability and Flex Spending benefits for health care and dependent care. Benefits available to dependents include medical, dental, vision, spouse/domestic partner life, child life, accidental death & dismemberment, and long term care. Under our benefits programs, we treat opposite and same-sex domestic partners (and their children) the same as spouses and children, to the extent that the law allows (e.g., federal law does not allow pre-tax treatment for domestic partner benefit payments). To assist with the tax incurred on domestic partner benefits, the firm provides a credit each pay period to those with domestic partner coverage. The firm offers an EAP, Resources and Referral, and Confidential Assistance Program which offers services specializing in work/life areas such as: weight management, tobacco cessation, confidential counseling for personal issues, identity theft restoration, financial tools, pregnancy/lactation kits, and more. Additional benefits include: Back-up Child and/or Elder Care, Gym Membership Discounts, and a Commuter Benefits Program. The firm's 401(k) program is a pre-tax Salary Deferral Plan with numerous investment choices. There is no waiting period to participate. Associates receive three to four weeks of vacation time. Additionally, the Firm offers a variety of paid leaves including medical, maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. Our relocation package includes moving and travel expenses, an exploratory trip to search for housing, and transition assistance.
Working for the Morrison & Foerster LLP.
Working at Morrison & Foerster is a real treat for lawyers. It is evident from the fact that Fortune magazine has named the firm in one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" and Working Mother magazine has voted the firm one of the best places to work thirteen times.
MoFo's standards are high and schedules are demanding. But the firm is built on respect, including supporting the outside life of its attorneys and adopting policies consistent with that support.
Firm's reduced hours attorneys work less than 100% of a full-time schedule. Their hours' expectations and base salary are adjusted based on the percentage of a full-time schedule that the attorney intends to work.
Generation after generation, MoFo lawyers have continued their commitment towards the issues of children in poverty, education, civil rights and civil liberties, death penalty and prisoners' rights, international human rights, political asylum, housing and homelessness and AIDS-related matters.
Each lawyer is expected to take on at least one pro bono matter each year. In 2011, its lawyers recorded approximately 95,000 pro bono hours firmwide.
Recently MoFo has been honored by the Pro Bono Institute (PBI)'s John H. Pickering Award, given in recognition of the firm's unwavering commitment to pro bono.
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