Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Democratic management and transparency”
  • “Partnership prospects”
  • “Friendly colleagues”

Downers

  • “No hand-holding”
  • “Brilliant partners do not necessarily make great case managers”
  • “Healthcare benefits are sub-par”

The Buzz

  • “Best in CA”
  • “Erudite”
  • “West Coast Wachtell”
  • “Nerdy”

About Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

One of SoCal's elites, Munger, Tolles & Olson has resisted the temptation to expand beyond the Golden State. The firm is similarly consistent in its recruiting: depending on your outlook, Munger Tolles attorneys are either active proponents of public service or shrewd résumé builders (or both)-a majority of them have clerked for U.S. federal judges, while many others have worked for federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Attorneys offices.

Cali Firm with Cornhusker Friends

An ancient firm founded by grey-whiskered men wearing pince-nez? Not Munger Tolles. Instead, think crew cuts and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The firm was founded in 1962 by seven partners, including Charles Munger and Edwin Leroy Tolles. Munger departed after three years, but this proved to work in the firm's interests. A close friend of investor Warren Buffett, Munger went on to become vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which in turn became a repeat Munger Tolles' client.

Tolles passed away in 2008, leaving Ronald L. Olson as the only name partner still in active practice at the firm. Olson, who joined in 1968, is also connected to Berkshire Hathaway (he's a director of the company) and served as Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southern California Public Radio. For many years, the Los Angeles Daily Journal (which happens to be owned by one Charles Munger) has named Olson one of California's most influential lawyers, acknowledging his work for clients like Yahoo!, the J. Paul Getty Trust, Shell Oil, Michael Ovitz and Paramount chairman Brad Grey.

Own It

Aside from its reluctance to expand geographically, Munger Tolles is atypical in that it promotes an "ownership mentality" among its ranks. In adherence to this culture, partners all weigh in on the pay of their fellow partners, and all attorneys may vote on all job candidates, review the firm's financial books and participate in all important firm decisions. A highly selective firm in terms of both hiring and its acceptance of cases, Munger Tolles has historically rewarded those who make it through the hiring gauntlet with an accelerated path to partner: the average associate can be considered for the partnership within five to seven years at the firm. While the firm keeps its ranks lean, it prides itself on the diversity of talent within its doors-clients who hire Munger Tolles may find themselves with lawyers who hold graduate degrees in history, literature, medicine, economics or physics.

Winning on Pacific Time

Proving that the West Coast can be the best coast, Munger Tolles made headlines in 2008 when The American Lawyer placed it atop the magazine's "A-List." It was the first time the honor had gone to a firm outside New York, but not the last: Munger Tolles placed #1 on the AmLaw A-List for three consecutive years. Today Munger Tolles operates over a half-dozen practice areas, with growing strength in criminal investigations and defense, as well as appellate work. Niche practices include tax and bankruptcy. The firm counts among its clients some of California's largest companies (think entertainment, energy and retail), national corporations, large universities, foreign government agencies and international corporations.

IN THE NEWS

April 2015

A Good Place for Moms (and Dads)
For the second year in a row, Munger Tolles was named to Yale Law Women's 2015 Top Ten Family Friendly Firm list. The list recognizes law firms that are demonstrated leaders in developing and implementing family friendly policies and practices. The firm was also recognized for its superior performance in two gender equity categories: at least 50 percent of attorneys promoted to partner in 2014 were women and the firm's executive or management committee was comprised of at least 40 percent women.

March 2015

That's a lot of Ketchup
Munger Tolles represented Berkshire Hathaway in its backing of a proposed merger between H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Group to form The Kraft Heinz Company. The merger will create the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world.

November 2014

Set up for Success
Munger Tolles introduced its revamped MTO Fellows Program in late 2014. With an enrollment of 40 candidates for the 2015-2016 year, the one-year program aims at increasing the diversity of those applying and being accepted to law school. The program will prepare a group of fellows for admission to and success in law school by providing assistance with their law school applications and LSAT preparation, hosting monthly workshops designed to prepare them for the demands of the application process and law school and helping them build a strong and broad professional network.

October 2014

Creativity for the Win
Munger Tolles won an important victory for Activision Blizzard Inc. and other creative content developers when it obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit brought by former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega over his depiction in the popular videogame "Call of Duty: Black Ops II." Activision had warned that, if the lawsuit been allowed to proceed, its efforts could have had a chilling effect on a variety of creative content.

September 2014

Cleaning up the Mess
A team of Munger Tolles trial lawyers, led by co-managing partner Brad D. Brian, successfully obtained a favorable ruling for Transocean Ltd. in the first phase of multidistrict litigation arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. The ruling effectively eliminated Transocean's financial risk arising from the spill.

May 2014

Turn it Up
Munger Tolles represented Beats Electronics, maker of the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software, and Beat Music, the subscription streaming music service, in the companies' $3 billion acquisition by Apple.

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Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

355 South Grand Avenue
35th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071-1560
Phone: (213) 683-9100
www.mto.com

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partners: Brad Brian and Sandra Seville-Jones
  • Hiring Attorneys: Manuel F. Cachan and Bethany Kristovich
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 202

  • Employment Contact
    Ms. Kevinn C. Villard
    Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (213) 683-9242
    Fax: (213) 683-5142
    E-mail: kevinn.villard@mto.com

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    Summer associate: $3,080/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    24 out of 26 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate
    Environmental
    Financial Restructuring
    Labor & Employment
    Litigation
    Real Estate
    Tax

Major Office Locations

  • Los Angeles, CA (HQ)
  • San Francisco, CA

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