Women’s Initiative

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

  • Recruiting and retaining women attorneys1, with a particular focus on diverse women attorneys;
  • Providing women 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 attorneys can build and lead successful legal careers; and
  • Working to ensure that women attorneys are adequately represented across the leadership of the firm, its practice groups and with its clients.

The Women’s 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

  • In the past seven years, approximately 40 percent of Munger Tolles attorneys promoted to equity partner have been women and roughly 14 percent have been women of color.  
  • The American Lawyer recently ranked Munger Tolles 15th in the nation for percentage of female equity partners, contributing to its No. 1 A-List ranking.
  • Four percent of law firms are led by women. Ours is one of them, co-led by Hailyn J. Chen.
  • Our women 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 LuedtkeRosemarie T. Ring), Top IP Lawyers (Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke), Top Lawyers Under 40 (Bethany W. KristovichCarolyn Hoecker LuedtkeMisty M. Sanford) and Top Labor and Employment Lawyers (Katherine M. Forster), and as Women Leaders in Tech Law by The Recorder (Rose Leda EhlerCarolyn Hoecker LuedtkeRosemarie T. Ring). They have been recognized among the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential IP Lawyers (Tamerlin J. Godley, Laura D. Smolowe) and as California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (Tamerlin J. Godley). Many are ranked in Chambers USA, and they have earned recognition in such areas as corporate deal making, employment litigation and real estate law.
  • 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. and The American Lawyer’s Diversity Scorecard and Top 20 for Associate Satisfaction.

Here are just a few of the ways the Women’s Initiative supports and encourages women attorneys, both within the firm and throughout the legal profession:


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. At the Hackathon, Diversity Committee Co-Chair Mark B. Helm was an active member of the team that won the “Crowd Favorite Award” for its innovative Mansfield Rule proposal. Since then, the Women’s Initiative has been instrumental in the adoption and implementation of the Mansfield Rule at the firm, which requires that the firm certify whether women lawyers and attorneys of color comprised at least 30 percent of the candidate pool for significant leadership roles.


Professional Development:  The Women’s Initiative hosts speakers and workshops open to all women 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’s Initiative also sponsors, and regularly sends its women attorneys to, conferences addressing issues relevant to women in the law, including the Women-in-Law Hackathon, the Women’s Leadership Edge Conference and the Women’s Power Summit hosted by the Center for Women in the Law.

Community and Business Building Events:  The Women’s Initiative holds client and/or alumni receptions for Munger Tolles’ extended network of women to build a community and business together. It also hosts a Women of Munger Tolles annual reception each summer, including women from all three offices and women summer associates.

Mentoring:  The Women’s Initiative provides additional mentoring resources for new women associates and women summer associates. It hosts monthly lunches and social events that also provide members with opportunities for mentoring in an informal setting.


The Women’s Initiative has partnered with the nonprofit organization Ms. JD to host a program aimed at preparing female 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’s Initiative, please contact co-chairs Sarah G. BoyceMelinda E. LeMoine or Laura K. Lin.



1The firm does not distinguish between “women attorneys” and “attorneys who identify as women.”

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