Morrison & Foerster LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “The laid back culture of hard working colleagues”
  • “Pro bono commitment is strong and heavily supported”
  • “Stellar clients”

Downers

  • “Lack of transparency into the business”
  • “Long hours”
  • “Work can be spread out inconsistently”

The Buzz

  • “Great reputation in tech”
  • “Best San Francisco firm”
  • “Quirky”
  • “Wanna be hip”

About Morrison & Foerster LLP

In 1973 those cats in San Fran approved "MoFo" as Morrison & Foerster's official nickname, accentuating the firm's unconventional modus operandi. Still, the firm is distinguished by much more than its rebel epithet. MoFo complements its expertise in IP, finance, life sciences, technology, and litigation with a long reach across the Pacific Rim and, more recently, into Europe. And staying true to its roots in a city of peace and love, the firm's pro bono commitment is deeply held.

Fastest Guns in the West

More than 120 years ago, Alexander Morrison and Thomas V. O'Brien founded the firm that became today's Morrison & Foerster. Due to the philanthropic work of Morrison's widow, the firm's name is woven through the fabric of Bay Area community life. May Treat Morrison's early 20th century bequests, augmented by her late husband's law firm, are responsible for libraries, lecture series, endowed chairs at Berkeley and Stanford, scholarships, and a planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences.

It wasn't until the early 1960s that the firm ventured away from Northern California, hopping on for the ride when one of its major San Francisco clients, Crocker National Bank, decided to open an L.A. office. In the second half of the 1980s the firm grew swiftly, sprouting offices across the Bay Area, and in 1987, the firm merged with New York firm Parker Auspitz Neesemann & Delehanty. That same year, MoFo became one of the first American law firms to practice in Japan, unveiling a Tokyo office-a 2001 joint enterprise with Japanese firm Ito & Mitomi made Morrison & Foerster the largest international firm in Tokyo. MoFo was also one of the first firms in China. The firm's Asia-based clients include such household names as Hitachi, Minolta, Nikon, and Toshiba.

Globally, Morrison & Foerster now numbers more than 1,000 lawyers and counts on its client list such companies as Apple, Bank of America, Intel, Lucasfilm, Oracle, Toshiba, Hitachi, Yahoo!, and Sprint Nextel.

Socially Accelerated

In addition to its high-tech clients, MoFo itself has been an industry leader in adapting to new technologies and social media. While other firms were only just beginning to take notice of phenomena such as Facebook, MoFo sprinted ahead, publishing articles on a wide range of developing cyberlaw issues.

Green is Gold

Sustainability is no longer a movement, it's a major market opportunity. Morrison & Foerster's cross-discipline "green" Cleantech practice group addresses the needs of players and industries focusing on regulatory and technological issues relating to climate change, energy conservation and clean technologies. Serving alternative fuel, solar, carbon, and other green-tech companies, as well as the Fortune 500, MoFo provides project finance, corporate, IP/patent, regulatory, land use, and environmental services. The firm also advises venture capital and private equity firms interested in investing in alternative technologies. 

IN THE NEWS

June 2015
Cyber Aware

When Legal 500 named Morrison & Foerster Cyber Crime Firm of the Year for the second year in a row, it did so with good reason. The firm's global privacy and data security group has counseled some of the world's largest multinationals in some of the highest-profile global data breaches. The team is particularly adept at counseling companies that operate in highly regulated sectors, such as financial services, healthcare, retail, and pharmaceuticals, as well as companies with international operations. The firm has a genuinely global practice, having represented companies in privacy projects spanning more than 100 companies.

July 2015
Profit With Purpose

A MoFo corporate team represented Imprint Capital Advisors, an institutional impact investing firm, in its sale to Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Imprint Capital focuses on investment solutions that generate measurable environmental, social, and effective governance alongside a financial return. The transaction marked the first acquisition by a leader in the mainstream capital markets of a "B" corp focused as much on mission as financial returns. The deal was featured in the Financial Times' North America Innovative Lawyers Report as one of the most innovative deals in 2015.

October 2015
Closer to Fine

On October 15, more than 225 women lawyers attended the 2015 MoFo Summit for Women In-House Counsel in New York City. In addition to exploring a range of timely topics - from sustainability, FinTech, and data protection, to issues facing women general counsel - the program included a live performance by the Indigo Girls. As one attendee noted, "this wasn't your grandma's CLE." The summit is one of many MoFo programs promoting the advancement of women in the legal profession, which also includes the ongoing Women in Business seminar series in Tokyo.

October 2015
Fintech Leader

MoFo represented SoftBank as lead investor in SoFi's $1 billion Series E Preferred Stock financing, the largest single financing round in the FinTech space to date. SoFi is a leading marketplace vendor and the largest provider of student loan refinancing. The funding allowed SoFi to continue expanding its offerings and simplify the user experience, particularly through mobile devices. We also represented SoftBank in investments in Snapdeal, India's largest online marketplace; Kuadi Dache, a leading mobile app provider in China; and Coupang, the largest and fastest growing standalone e-commerce player in Korea.

December 2015
Structured Reasoning

MoFo acted as counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors for Texas Competitive Electric Holdings (TCEH) and certain debt affiliates in the chapter 11 case of TCEH's parent corporation, Energy Future Holdings, one of the largest power producers in Texas. This was one of the most challenging bankruptcy cases in the last two years because it involved various groups of creditors with opposing interests and objectives, even within the creditors' committee itself. Our restructuring team played a critical role in uniting committee members to form a collective voice of reason before the court.

January 2016
Wheels of Justice

On January 22, lawyers from MoFo's San Francisco and Palo Alto offices teamed up with in-house lawyers from Yahoo! on a Justice Bus trip to Modesto, California. Organized by OneJustice, the Justice Bus takes teams of lawyers to rural and isolated areas to provide free legal services to low-income Californians, including veterans, vulnerable seniors, children with disabilities, low-wage workers, immigrant youth, and families. Partnering with a firm client like Yahoo! helped increase access to justice. At the same time, it gave lawyers the chance to interact with clients by collaborating on a rewarding and meaningful project.

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Morrison & Foerster LLP

425 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
Phone: (415) 268-7000

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Larren M. Nashelsky
  • Hiring Partner: Craig Martin
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 1,033

  • Base Salary
    All U.S. offices and U.S. practice attorneys in international offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    9th year: $325,000
    Summer Associates: $3500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    51 out of 54 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust & Competition Law
    Bankruptcy & Restructuring
    Capital Markets
    Corporate 
    Energy
    Environmental
    Financial Services
    Intellectual Property
    International
    Labor & Employment
    Land Use & Natural Resource
    Life Sciences
    Litigation
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    Patent
    Privacy
    Project Finance & Development
    Real Estate
    Securities & White Collar Defense
    Sourcing
    Tax
    Trademark
    Technology Transactions

Major Office Locations

  • Denver, CO
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • McLean, VA
  • New York, NY
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Berlin
  • Brussels
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo
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