Diversity

Women+ Initiative

Founded in 1998, Munger, Tolles & Olson’s Women+ Initiative brings together a diverse group of women, men and non-binary attorneys from the firm’s three offices, who are committed to:

  • Recruiting and retaining women and non-binary attorneys, with a particular focus on diverse women and non-binary attorneys;
  • Providing women and non-binary attorneys with tools to facilitate and support successful legal careers;
  • Ensuring that the firm is at the forefront of setting policies that foster an environment where women and non-binary attorneys can build and lead successful legal careers; and
  • Working to ensure that women and non-binary attorneys are adequately represented across the leadership of the firm, its practice groups and with its clients.

The Women+ Initiative works closely with the firm’s other diversity initiatives, as well as with external organizations with similar missions, to identify and adopt best practices that will advance these goals.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Since 2019:
    • Approximately 62 percent of Munger Tolles partners hired and promoted are underrepresented;
    • Approximately 47 percent are women and non-binary attorneys; and
    • Approximately 15 percent are women and non-binary attorneys of color.
  • MTO has one partnership tier, and women and non-binary attorneys comprise 34 percent of our partners.
  • Four percent of U.S. law firms are led by women. Ours is one of them, co-led by Hailyn J. Chen.
  • Our women and non-binary lawyers are widely recognized as the best of the best. They have been named among the Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers (Hailyn J. ChenCarolyn Hoecker Luedtke, Katherine Forster), Top IP Lawyer (Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke), Top Lawyers Under 40 (Bethany W. KristovichCarolyn Hoecker Luedtke) and Top Labor and Employment Lawyers (Katherine M. Forster), and as Women Leaders in Tech Law by The Recorder (Rose Leda EhlerCarolyn Hoecker Luedtke, Miriam Kim). They have also been recognized among the Most Influential IP Lawyers ( Laura D. Smolowe). Law360 has named them as Rising Stars (Rose Leda Ehler), and many are ranked in Chambers USA. 
  • Women and non-binary attorneys have significant representation on all Munger Tolles firm committees, including currently or recently chairing important committees such as management, partnership compensation, and associate review.
  • Munger Tolles’ commitment to women and non-binary lawyers has been recognized in multiple surveys and listings, including The American Lawyer’s Diversity Scorecard, Vault’s Top 100 Law Firms in the U.S., WomenInc.’s Top Law Firms for Women and Yale Law Women’s Top Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness.

Here are just a few of the ways the Women+ Initiative supports and encourages women and non-binary attorneys, both within the firm and throughout the legal profession:

THE MANSFIELD RULE

Munger Tolles has taken a leading role in piloting the Mansfield Rule program generated through the Diversity Lab’s Women-in-Law Hackathon, held at Stanford Law School in 2016. Since then, the Women+ Initiative has been instrumental in the adoption and implementation of the Mansfield Rule at the firm, which requires that the firm certify whether diverse lawyers composed of at least 30 percent of the candidate pool for senior lateral recruiting positions and significant leadership roles. Thanks to these efforts, we have received the highest recognition, Mansfield Certified Plus Status, for six consecutive years, which confirms that we achieved 30 percent diverse attorneys for more than half of the key leadership positions tracked.

BUILDING SKILLS, COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS

Professional Development:  The Women+ Initiative hosts speakers and workshops open to all women and non-binary attorneys that provide opportunities for skill development. These cover a range of topics, including fostering client and community relationships, effective oral advocacy, negotiation skills, the art of self-promotion, building a book of business, maintaining work-life balance and developing strategic career plans. Outside speakers have included federal and state judges, as well as business and community leaders. The Women+ Initiative also sponsors, and regularly sends its women and non-binary attorneys to, conferences addressing relevant issues, including the Women-in-Law Hackathon, the Women+ Leadership Edge Conference and the Women+ Power Summit hosted by the Center for Women in the Law.

Community and Business Building Events:  The Women+ Initiative also hosts a Women+ Reception each summer, including women and non-binary attorneys from all three offices and summer associates. The Women+ Initiative also hosts the annual Sandra Seville-Jones Women+ Summit each fall.

Mentoring: The Women+ Initiative provides additional mentoring resources for new women and non-binary associates and summer associates. It hosts monthly lunches and social events that also provide members with opportunities for mentoring in an informal setting. In 2020, the Women+ Initiative launched a mentoring program for all women and non-binary attorneys as a supplement to the firm’s general mentorship program. Groups composed of 5-7 attorneys from different seniority levels meet quarterly to provide additional opportunities for relationship building and professional development.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

The Women+ Initiative has partnered with the nonprofit organization Ms. JD to host a program aimed at preparing women and non-binary law students to participate in job interviews. It has also sponsored and worked with a wide range of organizations committed to the advancement of women in the law, such as California Women Lawyers, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the National Association of Women Judges.

To learn more about the Women+ Initiative, please contact Co-Chairs: Ashley Aull or Lauren E. Ross.

News

Advancing Diversity in Leadership with the Mansfield Rule

Advancing Diversity in Leadership with the Mansfield Rule

Top Woman Lawyer: Hailyn Chen

Top Woman Lawyer: Hailyn Chen

Munger, Tolles & Olson Recognized as Top Law Firm for Gender Equity

Munger, Tolles & Olson Recognized as Top Law Firm for Gender Equity

Munger, Tolles & Olson Increases Paid Parental Leave to 18 Weeks

Munger, Tolles & Olson Increases Paid Parental Leave to 18 Weeks