While most law firms provide a formal mentor, Morrison Foerster, through MoFo Navigate, takes a holistic approach to professional growth. Under MoFo Navigate, attorneys are given the right kind of support and guidance at the right points in their careers. By encouraging collaboration and leveraging insight across departments and geography, and over the course of each attorney’s career, MoFo Navigate creates a support system dynamic enough to respond to the changing needs of all of our attorneys as they grow and develop.
MoFo Navigate is also uniquely and specifically designed to promote greater equity and inclusion. It is overseen by the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion (D+I) Group and trains both mentors and mentees on some of the common root causes of attrition, and how to mentor more effectively across differences. Our global approach is tailored to address the unique needs of our attorneys in each region. For information on mentoring programs, please contact Natalie Kernisant.
As you begin your career, it’s important to find the right mentor. Therefore, every new associate is assigned an associate liaison during the first six months who will:
Welcome you to the firm and help you understand the firm’s core values
Your Pathway mentor will be a partner selected with input from both you and your associate liaison, and will become your primary MoFo Navigate resource.
Your Pathway mentor will:
This relationship is designed to help you integrate into the firm, whether you joined the firm as a first-year associate or a lateral, and will continue through your second year at the firm.
Diversity Mentoring Program (DMP). Based on associate feedback, we have designed this program to support our Black and Latinx associates, who are among the most underrepresented groups in Big Law.
Your DMP mentor is often the same as your Pathway partner mentor, but you will have the opportunity to select another if you prefer. Your DMP partner will:
This relationship is designed to support your growth and development through partnership, or for as long as you stay at the firm, if you have other goals. This relationship is supported by three custom-designed trainings on mentoring across differences including one for mentees, one for mentors, and one combined workshop.
You can also listen to a recording of a DMP mentor and mentee, MoFo’s Miriam Wugmeister and Melissa Crespo, and hear about the many lessons they have learned from each other.
AAPI Mentoring Program. In August 2022, the D+I Group, in consultation with our partners in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Network, launched a cross-office mentoring program to help support the unique growth, integration, and development needs of our attorneys in the AAPI Network. Your AAPI mentor will help you navigate firm culture while enhancing your personal sense of belonging.
Each year, the chair of the firm, Larren M. Nashelsky, department heads, and the chief diversity and inclusion officer kick off MoFo Navigate’s Sponsorship Initiative. The initiative is designed to support and expand upon the firm’s culture of active sponsorship and pays particular attention to diverse and women talent. The co-chairs of the Diversity and Women’s Strategy Committees follow up with each department chair periodically throughout the year to provide additional resources on how to be a more effective sponsor and in support of diverse and women talent.
Even after attorneys are promoted or hired into the partnership, the firm takes an active approach to supporting their successful integration, growth, and development. Each new diverse and/or woman partner is assigned a diversity/women’s partner liaison.
Your partner liaison will help:
This relationship is designed to support you as you navigate your first year in the partnership.
Many of the MoFo Navigate programs, including the Associate Liaison Program, the Sponsorship Initiative, the New Diverse and Women Partner Liaison Program and, in most cases, the Pathway Mentoring Program, operate in our offices outside the United States. In offices where the Pathway Mentoring Program has not yet been adopted, plans are underway to institute the program in a way that will best address the needs of newly hired attorneys in those offices. For information on mentoring programs outside the United States, please contact Usha Puri-Dewage (Europe) or Gretchen Debenham Hug (Asia).