We are constantly looking to improve and build on the trainings and programs we offer our lawyers. As a firm, we provide opportunities for our diverse lawyers to talk candidly about issues they are facing and how we can address them.
Since the early 1990s, we have held professional development workshops that gather diverse associates from across the firm’s domestic offices for a two-day program of professional development sessions, diversity-related trainings, speakers/panels, and alumni receptions. In 2014, the workshops were expanded to include LGBT lawyers and became known as the MoFo Diversity Summit. More than 100 diverse lawyers attended our most recent summit.
Read more about the MoFo Diversity Summit.
Our town hall meetings, held in the years between each MoFo Diversity Summit, are a series of smaller, more intimate gatherings held in our local domestic offices.
While the diversity summit solicits feedback on our firmwide initiatives, our town hall meetings solicit feedback from our diverse lawyers on local office culture.
During these meetings, the Diversity Steering Committee discusses current diversity initiatives and progress. Feedback from local offices is collected to ensure firm initiatives align with and address the needs of our lawyers.
In 2016, we launched a series of unconscious bias trainings designed specifically for our lawyers. Unconscious bias trainings are held periodically in each of our local offices, and have expanded to include staff.
Training is also offered at MoFo University for all new and lateral attorney hires. The sessions focus on exploring and interrupting unconscious bias.
Ensuring our lawyers are prepared to handle conflict and are equipped with the skills to navigate points of conflict, is necessary to the success of our lawyers and the firm.
We designed conflict resolution training programs in response to and based on specific associate feedback after the 2016 election. Associates asked for specific training on how to deescalate situations of conflict, tension, and violence.
In 2017, MoFo hosted a series of conflict resolution workshops in our San Francisco and New York offices. Based on the success of the program, the curriculum has been adapted to fit the needs of larger scale training given to lawyers at all levels. These programs also train lawyers to resolve any conflicts that may resolve with their teams or with clients.
Following the successful completion of both Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule pilot program and Mansfield Rule 2.0, Morrison & Foerster has achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status for 2018 and 2019. The firm was one of only 25 that received Certification Plus for two consecutive years. Certification Plus status indicates that, in addition to considering a diverse group of candidates for leadership and governance roles, the firm has also successfully reached at least 30 percent women, minority, and LGBTQ+ lawyer representation in a notable number of current leadership roles and committees.
MoFo joins a number of major law firms and corporate legal departments in launching version 3.0 of the initiative, running from July 2019 to July 2020. The latest version will also include lawyers with disabilities in the populations considered.
As a result of earning Mansfield Certification Plus status, MoFo has been given the opportunity to invite a select list of diverse partners to attend a two-day client forum, sponsored by Diversity Lab, filled with opportunities for networking and meeting with high-level in-house counsel. The MoFo partners are invited to both days of the forum, which includes TED-style talks interspersed with small-group, professional networking breaks and one-on-one pitch meetings with select in-house counsel representing more than 60 legal departments.
Following the event, Diversity Lab will provide attendees with valuable feedback from their client pitch sessions on speaking style, effectiveness in describing their capabilities, and knowledge of their firm’s commitment to diversity, as well as practical tips for improving their pitch skills.
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