2022 Vault Rankings
- New York#26
At a Glance
“The culture can't be beat.”
“Diversity & inclusion efforts.”
“Lack of transparency in certain respects.”
“Long and inconsistent hours.”
“High standards require excellence at all times.”
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.
From the Golden Gate to the Great Wall
More than 120 years ago, Alexander Morrison and Thomas V. O’Brien founded the firm that became today’s Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. 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 LA 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. The firm has also had a presence in China for more than 35 years.
Green is Gold
MoFo provides counsel across a variety of practices, including business and finance, IP, international, litigation, regulatory, and tax. The firm is well known for its experience in IP matters and has been among the top 10 Best Firms for Intellectual Property in Vault’s ranking. The firm’s regulatory practice is also highly respected, especially with regard to privacy and data security—in fact, the firm is among the top 5 firms in Vault’s Privacy & Data Security ranking.
Sustainability is no longer a movement, it’s a major market opportunity. Morrison & Foerster’s cross-discipline “green” Clean Tech + Renewable Energy 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.
Pro Bono Champions
MoFo’s pro bono roots run deep to its founder Alexander Morrison, who was a founding member of The Legal Aid Society of San Francisco. The firm has long been a leader in pro bono—it was one of the first law firms to have full-time pro bono counsel and also was a charter signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge in the ’90s—an initiative it continues to adhere to today. The firm has been recognized by the National Law Journal’s Pro Bono Hot List multiple times and is among the top 25 firms for pro bono in Vault’s rankings. Pro bono matters at the firm are wide ranging, including everything from reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights to voting rights and immigration to literacy and special education—as a small sample.
As companies around the world continue to adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, and the gradual return to in-person gatherings, so do we. Whether working from remote locations, conducting online webinars for our clients, or celebrating the end of the workweek with a virtual gathering, we are doing what we can to care for our families, clients, and communities during this time. The firm continues to develop resources to help staff, lawyers, clients, summer associates, and alumni navigate the remote work environment. Learn more about how MoFo is supporting members of the firm and our communities by visiting our Coronavirus Resource Center.
As we turn the page to the next chapter, we are looking ahead to happy reunions, finally meeting colleagues who’ve joined us during the remote work environment, and coming together in person as a community.
News & Awards
- Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.: Morrison & Foerster represented Apple in its litigation against Samsung that spanned nine countries in 11 jurisdictions, including an initial jury verdict for Apple of more than $1.1 billion.
- MoFo served as lead counsel to Sprint and SoftBank in the landmark $59 billion merger between Sprint and T-Mobile and Sprint’s related sale of approximately $5 billion in pre-paid assets to DISH Network, one of the most significant telecommunications transactions since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
- Morrison & Foerster represented the motion picture industry in the On Command Video case, which established that on-demand video systems require a license under the copyright’s public performance right.
- Mansfield Rule 4.0—Diversity Lab
- Seventh in The American Lawyer A-list, 2021
- Best Law Firms for Women, 2021—Working Mother
- Top Firms for Diverse Leadership, 2021—Yale Law Women
- California Regional Powerhouse, 2021—Law360
Why Work Here
The world of MoFo
Morrison & Foerster is an international firm with over 1000 lawyers in key technology and financial centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Founded in 1883, the firm’s dedication to clients is reflected in the firm’s mantra that it is every lawyer’s responsibility to provide clients with “legendary service.” Clients include some of the largest financial institutions, Fortune 100 companies, investment banks and technology and life science companies. The firm is consistently included as one of America’s top 20 law firms in The American Lawyer’s A-List. Their practitioners are recognized by their peers in reference guides including IFLR1000, PLC Cross-border Handbooks, Chambers Global and Legal 500. The firm is consistently recognized for its commitment to the community and pro bono, recently honored by the Pro Bono Institute's John H. Pickering Award, given in recognition of the firm's unwavering commitment to pro bono. PBI highlighted the firm's recent pro bono victories, including a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court protecting juveniles from life sentences without parole in non-homicide offenses, and another case securing the release of a man wrongly imprisoned for 20 years.
425 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 268-7000
Managing Partner: Larren M. Nashelsky
Hiring Partner: Craig Martin
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
All U.S. offices/U.S. practice attorneys in international offices
1st year (class 2021): $202,500
1st year (class 2020): $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year: $365,000
Summer Associate: $3,894.23
Director of Attorney Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 8
No. of International Offices: 8
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC I Beijing
Business Restructuring & Insolvency
Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
FCPA, Anti-Corruption, Investigations, & White Collar
Financial Services & FinTech
General Commercial Litigation
Mergers & Acquisitions
Privacy & Data Security
Social Enterprise + Impact Investing
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.