Culture of InclusionWe 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.

MoFo Diversity Summit

Since the early 1990s, we have held professional development workshops for our U.S.-based lawyers of color. These workshops 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. They also provide an opportunity to update associates on firmwide diversity initiatives and solicit feedback. 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.

Previous summits have explored such topics as:

  • understanding and uncovering implicit bias;
  • improving confidence and communication skills with potential clients; and
  • strategies for developing and building your personal brand.

Keynote speakers have included Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University Law School, and Werten Bellamy, President of Stakeholders, Inc.

Town Hall Meetings

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.

Unconscious Bias Trainings

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.

Responding to Associate Feedback is a Priority: Conflict Resolution Program

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.

Mansfield Rule

Following the successful completion of Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule pilot program, Morrison & Foerster achieved “Mansfield Certification Plus” status, which 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 and minority lawyer representation in a notable number of current leadership roles and committees.

The firm joins 65 major law firms and corporate legal departments in launching version 2.0 of the initiative, running from July 2018 to July 2019. The latest version expands the Mansfield Rule to include LGBTQ+ lawyers and will also measure the transparency of appointment and election processes for client pitch meetings among participant firms.

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