Women's Initiative

Munger, Tolles & Olson is deeply committed to the advancement of women in the legal profession. Through the Women’s Initiative, Munger Tolles strives to recruit, retain and promote women attorneys, and to support the continuing growth and advancement of women partners. These efforts are reflected in the following facts and honors:

  • In the past five years, more than half of Munger Tolles attorneys promoted to equity partner have been women. The American Lawyer noted that the firm is one of only six in the AmLaw 200 to have met or exceeded the “30 percent standard” for promoting women to partner in recent years.
  • Munger Tolles has been consistently ranked on The American Lawyer’s A-List since its inception in 2004 – including four years as No. 1 – reflecting the firm’s success in recruiting, retaining and promoting diverse attorneys.
  • Since 2009, the Daily Journal’s annual Top Women Lawyers list has included Katherine Forster, Kristen Linsley Myles and Mary Ann Todd. Chambers USA also named Mary Ann Todd its Up-and-Coming Corporate/M&A Lawyer of the Year at its 2013 Women in the Law Awards.
  • Managing partner Sandra Seville-Jones is the second woman to hold that position at Munger Tolles in the past 10 years.
  • Women attorneys have significant representation on all Munger Tolles firm committees, including currently or recently chairing important committees such as policy, partnership compensation, and associate review.
  • Munger Tolles’ commitment to women lawyers has been recognized in multiple surveys and listings, including Vault’s Top 100 Law Firms in the U.S., Yale Law Women’s Top Ten Family Friendly Firms, Working Mother’s Best Law Firms for Women, Minority Law Journal’s Top Ten for Law Firm Diversity and The American Lawyer’s Top 20 for Associate Satisfaction.

The Women’s Initiative at Munger Tolles includes several programs and measures:

Women’s Lunch and Social Events
Monthly lunches for women attorneys cover a wide range of topics and provide opportunities for skill development, mentoring and relationship building. Lunch topics include effective oral advocacy, building a book of business, fostering client and community relationships, negotiation skills for women, the art of self promotion for women, developing mentoring relationships, developing strategic career plans and maintaining work/life balance. Outside speakers have included federal and state judges, as well as business and community leaders.

Munger Tolles also hosts various social events for women attorneys, providing additional opportunities for relationship building and mentoring in an informal setting.

Work/Life Balance Resources
Munger Tolles has instituted a wide range of measures designed to ease the challenges all attorneys face in balancing work and personal commitments.

  • Reduced hours policy: The firm’s reduced hours policy allows attorneys who work reduced hours to remain on track toward partnership. The firm actively monitors the reduced hours program to assist reduced-hours attorneys in not exceeding their targeted hours and continuing to build their practice and progress toward partnership. Two attorneys on this schedule made partner during the last five years.
  • Parental leave policy: Munger Tolles has a generous leave policy for new parents. An attorney serving as the primary caregiver may take up to four months of fully paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, with the option of taking additional unpaid leave. Munger Tolles also provides up to one month of fully paid leave for a new parent who is not the primary caregiver, again with the option of additional unpaid leave.
  • On-site child care center: In an effort to further support its working parents, Munger Tolles opened a state-of-the-art child care and early education center next door to the firm’s offices in downtown Los Angeles. The 12,000-square-foot facility, Hope Street Friends, is the first law firm-sponsored child care center on the West Coast and has the capacity to serve 88 children from infancy to pre-kindergarten ages. Bright Horizons, a leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, operates the center. In 2011 and 2012, it was recognized as “Best Downtown Daycare” by the Los Angeles Downtown News.
  • Subsidized back-up child care: Munger Tolles provides all employees with subsidized back-up child care. Employees pay just $15 a day for back-up child care services offered through the firm.
  • Lactation room: To make the adjustment back to work easier, the firm has a specially designated private room for nursing mothers.
  • Domestic partner health benefits: Munger Tolles provides health benefits not only to spouses, but also to domestic partners. Munger Tolles was one of the first firms to “gross-up” health insurance benefits for same-sex domestic partners to correct for inequalities in the tax code.
  • IT support for off-site work: Munger Tolles recognizes that outside commitments often require attorneys to be away from the office and provides significant IT resources to help attorneys work remotely, from home or elsewhere.

Women’s Initiative Subcommittee
The Women’s Initiative Subcommittee meets regularly to review various measures the firm has taken to enhance recruitment, retention and advancement of women attorneys at Munger Tolles and to consider new measures. Subcommittee members stay informed and educate the firm regarding research and developments on issues of interest to women attorneys.

Memberships in Organizations
Munger Tolles is a member of numerous organizations dedicated to advancing women and minorities in the legal profession, including the Minority Lawyers Association and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

Library of Published Resources for Women Attorneys
Munger Tolles maintains a library of publications for the advancement and development of women lawyers, including topics such as negotiation skills, networking and removing barriers to advancement.

To learn more about the Women’s Initiative, please contact co-chairs Tamerlin Godley and Heather Takahashi.