Munger, Tolles & Olson is committed to pipeline programs at many stages of education that will improve diversity in the legal profession. We support our own attorneys as their careers evolve through professional development conferences, trainings and programs like LCLD Fellows and LCLD Pathfinders. We also devote substantial time and resources to programs for diverse students across the educational pipeline, including:
Jay Fujitani 1L Diversity Summer Program: Since 2004, Munger Tolles has offered a summer associate program for first-year law students who are members of racial or ethnic minorities, LGBT, physically challenged, or from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. Upon completion of six weeks at the firm, participants have the option to remain at the firm or to spend their final four weeks performing legal work in-house with one of the firm’s clients or at a public interest organization. No matter which option is selected, participants receive a stipend equivalent to their weekly salary from Munger Tolles for those four weeks. Former 1L summer associates currently work at the firm, and numerous others have gone on to obtain federal clerkships and join major corporations.
Munger Tolles Diversity Scholarship: Through the California Bar Foundation, Munger Tolles provides financial support to first-year California law students to help defray the costs of their 1L year.
Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP): Munger Tolles is an annual sponsor of JIOP, which provides internships with federal and state judges around the country to students who are members of racial or ethnic minorities, LGBT, women, disabled, or financially disadvantaged.
MTO Fellows Program: From 2007-2014, Munger Tolles hired two to four college graduates per year as MTO Fellows to work at the firm. To broaden the pipeline of diverse law students, in 2015, the firm redesigned this program to operate as a non-employment fellowship with the goal of accepting 25-40 prospective law school applicants each year. The new Fellows Program prepares prospective applicants not only for the law school application process, but also for the challenges of law school itself. Each MTO Fellow receives assistance with law school applications; participates in a Fellows-only, firm-sponsored, customized LSAT preparation course; attends monthly workshops to prepare for the demands of law school and the application process; and becomes part of a strong and broad professional network. The program seeks applicants from all backgrounds and aims to increase the diversity of the legal profession. Over the past two years, dozens of MTO Fellows have been admitted to top law schools across the country, many with significant scholarship awards.
For People of Color, Inc. (FPOC): Misty M. Sanford is a founder and treasurer of FPOC, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering students of color to attend law school and become attorneys. Munger Tolles has partnered with FPOC to conduct law school admissions workshops, where MTO lawyers have shared their insights into the law school application process, as well as their own experiences as law school students. Student participants at FPOC workshops have subsequently attended some of the nation’s best law schools and become associates at major law firms.
UCLA Law Fellows: Since 2006, we have been a sponsor of the UCLA Law Fellows Program, an innovative outreach service aimed at encouraging and preparing minority undergraduates and recent graduates to attend law school.
HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
Urban Debate Leagues: Debate has been shown to have meaningful results in enhancing literacy and graduation rates. We are proud sponsors of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League (MDL) and the Bay Area Urban Debate League (UDL), which promote debate programs in urban public schools across Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Former Munger Tolles Co-Managing Partner Sandra A. Seville-Jones was a founding member of the MDL advisory board, which is now co-chaired by Henry Weissmann. Grant A. Davis-Denny and Matthew A. Macdonald are also on the MDL board, and Adam I. Kaplan serves on the legal pipeline committee of the advisory council for the Bay Area UDL.
Internships: Munger Tolles hosts high school interns in conjunction with the Bar Association of San Francisco Law Academy and the Constitutional Rights Foundation. These internships offer college-bound high school students a valuable opportunity to gain exposure to corporate work environments and professional experiences that will prepare them for college and beyond.