Morrison Foerster - True Picture

Cutting-edge tech work, loads of pro bono opportunities and a cosy culture... this Cali native has got it all. What Mo could you ask Fo? 

Morrison Foerster training contract review 2024 

The Firm 

What’s in a name? Well, for MoFo, there's certainly a good few decades of etymological history behind its affectionate nickname that may raise a few eyebrows. But, for one trainee at the firm, the name spoke volumes: “MoFo’s at the top of its game and works for some of the biggest companies across the world, but the lighthearted name says a lot about the friendly, funny people who work here.” Despite its fun name, MoFo takes on some serious work, making the most of its San Fran roots and extensive global network. Though our London trainee interviewees might not have Silicon Valley on their doorsteps, they still have access to cutting-edge tech work, cross-border matters and big-name clients. “MoFo’s a powerhouse in the US and Asia, but it’s still building out its European practice,” one trainee reflected. “I loved the idea of joining a developing office within the infrastructure of a globally recognised name. You feel insulated, but also that anything is possible.” 

Indeed, although MoFo boasts over 1,000 lawyers across 18 worldwide offices, its UK office is comparatively small with just over 100 lawyers. The London base receives its fair share of Chambers UK rankings, specifically in debt capital markets and IT & outsourcing. Back in the States, the firm’s picked up more than 50 accolades in Chambers USA, for everything from government contracts to IP.  Over in the Asia-Pacific region, MoFo receives further top rankings from Chambers Global in private equity corporate/M&A and TMT. When it comes to mutli-jurisdictional work, MoFo’s recognised as a global market leader for agribusiness and outsourcing.

“I was looking for intense training where I’d learn lots and get a variety of experience.”

As you may often hear from trainees at US firms – and as our own interviewees relayed – a training contract with MoFo offered the opportunity to get plenty of early responsibility on matters. One trainee “didn’t want to be spoon-fed too much. I was looking for intense training where I’d learn lots and get a variety of experience.” Being part of a small cohort was another draw for many, including one insider who added: “I feel more valued as a member of the team when I’m known by name.” And, although Cali weather is a far cry from the grey English skies we might be used to, MoFo’s London trainees were more than happy to reap the benefits of the firm’s “West Coast ‘chill,’” “general friendliness and warmth, coupled with high-class work.” 

The Seats 

Sources emphasised the “collaborative” approach to seat allocation at MoFo: “You feel heard throughout the process. It’s not just ‘this is the way it is, bye!’” Incoming trainees are assigned first seats based on any demonstrated interests or previous experience as well as the firm's business needs.  The learning and development team release available options for the next seats, and assign them based on trainees’ top four preferences. Lots of our interviewees had done split seats and explained that “demand for work can be very up and down, especially in more niche areas.” Previously, trainees have split data privacy with TTG, employment and IP.

“We’re up against some giants in the city.” 

A seat with the litigation team is a great way to get an insight into disputes work across a broad spectrum. It has a range of specialisms, including white-collar crime, public investigations, arbitration, sanctions, general commercial litigation and antitrust/competition. Almost all our trainee interviewees had been kept busy with work arising from the post office enquiry. “We’re up against some giants in the city,” an insider enthused. “Considering the size of our office, it’s taken up quite a lot of trainee capacity.” The firm also defended one of the holding companies in the Louwman Group, one of the largest car distributors in Europe, against breach of contract claims. The group had loaned €90 million to a company to purchase the famous Ferrari collection on display at the Violati Maranello Rosso Museum in San Marin.

“I’d see things that I was involved in on the news.”

More generally, trainees handle typical newbie tasks, such as doc review, disclosure and legal research. However, sources appreciated “a noticeably increasing level of trust; I was given more challenging drafting tasks as I proved myself.” Other interviewees had done first drafts of forms and witness statements, and some had attended strategy meetings with partners. This was exciting for many, especially given the scale of the work: “I’d see things that I was involved in on the news, so I could see how the work I contribute goes out into the real world.” 

The firm’s corporate/M&A team mostly works on private deals, with a smattering of public M&A going around. In true MoFo fashion, the work is “quite tech-focused,” evidenced by the group’s work with eBay on its acquisition of the NFT marketplace KnownOrigin. Trainees are generally involved with day-to-day transaction management, due diligence, note-taking on calls, drafting ancillary documents and putting together signature pages. Aside from these tasks, sources were clear that “you’re given the level of responsibility you’re willing to take on.” Our interviewees had plenty of experience liaising with experts, local counsel and colleagues in different offices. “You’re usually involved from the very start,” said one trainee. “You’re aware as soon as a deal comes in, which is exciting!” 

The tech transactions group works on a variety of regulatory, corporate, IP, finance and outsourcing matters with clients across sectors such as FinTech, AgTech (agriculture technology) and life sciences. Despite the focused nature of the work, the department has got a range of clients, like Softbank, Tate & Lyle and Oxford University’s poverty-focused non-profit SOPHIA. The firm advised India-based software provider, Loyalty Juggernaut, on issues concerning its contracts with its key clients, including Langham Hotels and Deutsche Telekom.

“I could take things forward and they’d go ahead with my amendments to contracts.” 

Corporate support is a key part of the seat, with opportunities to work on the tech aspects of due diligence. An interviewee especially enjoyed the chance to help clients negotiate supplier contracts, highlighting how “I was very much taking the lead, and it was great to see the level of trust I was given. I could take things forward and they’d go ahead with my amendments to contracts.” Insiders flagged business development as another key part of the seat, and a nice change of pace compared to the “very formal, legalistic things you get used to. Being able to draft articles with a practical tone while keeping things lighthearted is such a useful skill.” 

Data privacy has previously been offered as a split seat with tech transactions, and the two complement each other well according to one trainee: “Tech contracts have data privacy elements, so having experience with both sides is beneficial to learning the law fully.” There are further drafting opportunities for trainees here, including privacy policies and data transfer agreements. Data privacy litigation is a substantial chunk of the department’s work, alongside data breaches, cybersecurity, data subject requests and post-Brexit compliance. It’s an exciting team to spend a few months with, and offers “a nice combination of fast-paced, substantive law and the other commercial aspects you need to consider.” Trainees explained that, especially with the rise of AI, newer members of the team might spend their days researching regulations to advise clients about potential compliance breaches. 

Trainee Life 

People love pro bono here and would even work over the weekend for it! It doesn’t feel like a tickbox exercise at all,” a trainee gratefully expressed. Trainees can get involved with the charity Z2K, which helps clients who may need low income or disability benefits in London. There are also opportunities to supervise Queen Mary law students providing pro bono advice to clients at a legal clinic. “From the second you’re in the door, you’re encouraged to take on pro bono work,” an interviewee raved. “It’s an opportunity for trainees to get experience and a level of responsibility that wouldn’t be possible on a client matter.” Newbies can even bring their own pro bono matters to the firm and, once qualified, there’s no limit to how many pro bono hours they can put towards their annual billable target. 

“I could hear my parents’ hearts skip a beat when I told them about the pay.”

With so many opportunities to get responsibility on client and non-billable matters, and with MoFo being a US firm, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that trainees sometimes have to work later. Sources indicated that, although hours can fluctuate, it’s typical to finish between 7 and 8pm. Some had worked past midnight, while others had “never done an all-nighter throughout my entire training contract” or “would always be in bed by 11pm or midnight.” However, when things have been busier and weekend work is needed to stay on track, a trainee mentioned that “everyone is always checking in on you and making sure you’re not just working for the sake of working.” Interviewees were also grateful for the lack of an “engrained face-time culture,” claiming that you’re expected to head home if you finish your work by 5pm. For trainees, this was a pretty sweet gig, especially considering the high trainee salary which jumps up to $215,000 once qualified. “I could hear my parents’ hearts skip a beat when I told them about the pay, which matches the US market standards,” a trainee explained. “MoFo does a fantastic job of balancing life and work, so the salary is an added bonus.”

Perhaps it’s not just the pay that’s affected by its US roots; MoFo’s west coast warmth has trickled down to the London office, too. "You’re working with associates out in California on matters as well,” a trainee summarised. Interviewees explained how, generally, “everyone’s open, friendly and really enthusiastic about what they do.” Sources felt this was consistent across levels as the firm recruits laterals who fit with these values: “People always understand that we’re humans and not working machines. You’re not looked down upon if you mention that you feel overworked, and it’s treated as a real concern.” 

So many of our trainee interviewees had lots of praise for the support at MoFo. An insider summed up, “associates take time to see how I'm doing. It makes me feel that they’re invested in my development as a potential qualifier into the team.” Many trainees had similar stories to share, with the overarching idea being that “no matter how junior you are, your opinion is very much valued.” Our interviewees also felt the same about the partners, adding that they’re “friendly and chatty, so I feel more than comfortable knocking on their doors to discuss things.” Trainees also share an office with their supervisor, which makes it easy to ask questions or get some feedback. “You can get additional background you wouldn’t get communicating over email,” according to an interviewee. “Having an experienced lawyer there helps you refine your legal vocabulary, understanding and the way you interact with people.” 

On the social side, MoFo hosts Christmas and summer parties, as well as a few other formal events throughout the year. Some are held externally while others take place in the offices, so “even when people are busy, they can still pop in for 10 to 30 minutes then go back to their desk.” Informal drinks after work are also commonplace, and the trainee cohort gets a social allowance twice a year. “In the past we’ve done mini golf and dinners,” said an interviewee. “It’s a nice way the firm encourages us to bond, discuss non-work things and get to know each other.” 

Affinity groups such as MoFo Women, MoFo Together (ethnic diversity) and MoFo Proud (LGBTQ+) host plenty more events. “They bring in external speakers and run other events such as bringing food in to celebrate different cultures. We’ve also celebrated Diwali, Eid and Juneteenth,” explained a trainee. Sources felt optimistic about representation, noting how “there are definite efforts on all seniority levels to improve diversity and retention. No firm is perfect, but you can see MoFo’s efforts reflected in the office.” The firm also subscribes to various mindfulness apps which trainees and lawyers can put to full use, and sources recalled talks from more senior lawyers about their own mental health struggles. As one interviewee put it, “they take wellbeing seriously and want to make sure you’re not struggling.” 

"At MoFo, the bigger the team, the more structured the training.”

Induction training on resilience and working with others helped newbies settle into life at the firm, and this is supplemented by regular training with the MoFo Academy. “At a US firm, people often think all learning takes place on the job,” an interviewee reflected. “But at MoFo, the bigger the team, the more structured the training.” Namely, rookies can get to grips with the specifics of M&A work through sessions covering things like the differences between US and UK law, and the clauses of a sale purchase agreement. Know-how sessions give more junior members of teams an insight into market trends, hot topics and updates from the rest of the group.

The L&D team release available positions to kick off the qualification process, then second years submit a written application explaining why they want to qualify to the teams they’re applying to. “But that’s it,” a trainee assured, “there’s no formal interview or anything after that.” Though this year's retention stats were undisclosed, interviewees mentioned that the firm typically does well with retention.

The MoFormula 

Trainees sit on an interview panel for potential recruits, which is “a valuable way to see who we’d get on with and meet the people we’ll be working closely with once we qualify.” 

How to get a Morrison Foerster training contract


  • Vacation scheme deadline (2023): 8 January 2024
  • Training contract deadline (2025): 8 January 2024 (MoFo only recruits through its vacation scheme)

Online application form

Morrison Foerster (MoFo) only recruits trainees through its vacation scheme and asks candidates to apply by completing an online application form on the careers section of the MoFo website. A 2:1 degree and AAB at A-Level are a must at this stage; however, the firm will take mitigating circumstances into consideration. Any work experience is a plus, but not a requirement. When it comes to extracurricular activities, Attorney Recruiting Manager Rebecca Nasskau tells us that “applicants who can demonstrate interests that reflect the firms core practice areas, or its long-standing commitment to diversity and pro bono, also help an application to stand out.” Nasskau adds that “significant sporting, musical, or charitable achievements can also provide evidence of focus, commitment and determination, which are important skills to have as a MoFo lawyer.”


Around 50 out of the hundreds of applicants are invited for a first-round interview between January and February. This takes place with a member of the recruiting team and two associates and covers the ‘why law?’ and ‘why MoFo?’ questions as well as competency-based questions. There is also a straightforward legal question for those who have already studied law, or a question designed to ascertain commercial awareness if law has not yet been studied. In addition, Nasskau tells us thatwe’ll ask open-ended questions about a candidates application and experience to get to know them better. Our trainees come from a diverse range of backgrounds so theres not one key trait we look for, but we do like to see an ability to work collaboratively with others, an inquisitive mind, demonstrable engagement with legal topics and evidence of a genuine interest in MoFo.” Nasskau continues: “Those who strike the right balance between being prepared but not having scripted their answers tend to make the best impression.”

Around 30 aspiring recruits progress to attend a two-stage second interview in February to March with MoFo’s graduate partners, another partner or of counsel, recruiting manager and one current trainee. Firstly, candidates are tasked with creating a five-minute presentation on a non-legal topic based on current affairs. For example, in previous years, candidates have been invited to take a position on the future of cryptocurrency, the regulation on the use of drones, or the rights relating to protesting. Interviewees are then asked a series of questions on their presentation. Training Principal, Trevor James, says: “We don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. The best interviewees come prepared and have great answers to those follow-up questions. They don’t have to agree with the interviewer, we like them to have their own point of view. It can actually be quite good if the interviewer disagrees as it allows you to show that you can hold your own. So, be prepared but not too prepared.” The second part of the process involves reviewing a legal case study and discussing it with two associates. “We are looking for people who can identify the key issues and discuss them in a logical, commercial way,” Nasskau reveals. “You don’t need to have studied law to excel in this section of the process; we do also keep the stage of education you are currently at in mind.” 

The vacation scheme

Usually, between 15 to 18 candidates make it onto either of the firm’s two fortnight-long vacation schemes in June and July. Attendees sit in one department per week and tackle tasks that are usually given to trainees. “I was proofreading, listening to client calls, researching and writing articles,” one trainee recalled. Students are also set an assessed research project at the start of the scheme, alongside some other quicker turnaround tasks, which assesses their ability to balance deadlines and evaluates different skill sets.

Throughout the fortnight, recruiters are keen to see students “building relationships across the whole office, demonstrating their initiative, showcasing their technical ability and enjoying themselves.” Feedback on performance in tasks and interactions with the team during the vacation scheme forms the basis of training contract offers. “We invite feedback from everyone, not just those who you may have completed work for,” Nasskau says. So keep in mind who you are speaking to throughout the scheme!

Pro Bono Initiatives at MoFo

Attorneys in the London office partner with a variety of organisations on pro bono projects, such as Advocates for International Development, TrustLaw, JUSTICE, PILnet, Asylum Aid, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), The Chancery Lane Project, the Centre for Reproductive Rights, the Nature Conservancy, Prime Advocates, Not Beyond Redemption, Human Rights Watch, the Public International Law & Policy Group, and APPEAL (Centre for Criminal Appeals).

The London office is a member of the Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono in the UK, a law firm-led initiative to promote pro bono work, in which members commit to strive for an average of 25 pro bono hours per attorney, per year in their UK offices. Last year, MoFo's London lawyers averaged over 69 pro bono hours per attorney. Work examples include:

  • Supporting the Kenya office of the Center for Reproductive Rights in a variety of ways to assist it in its mission of advancing reproductive rights and maternal health in Kenya. This has included drafting an amicus brief on an important case at the High Court of Kenya on behalf of an adolescent who died after suffering from complications from an unsafe abortion. The case resulted in a landmark ruling issued by the High Court of Kenya that strengthens access to safe abortion in Kenya, where, on average, seven women and girls die from unsafe abortions every day.
  • Collaborating on disability benefit appeals with Z2K, a London-wide charity working to combat poverty. Since the partnership began in early 2018, numerous members of the London office - including partners, associates, trainees, and paralegals - have worked on cases for low-income, disabled clients who were receiving disability benefits that were inadequate to cover their needs. To date, we have taken on 93 individual cases, with a success rate of over 90% for those cases that have gone to hearing.
  • Advising Social Finance, a non-profit organisation that partners with the government, the social sector, and the financial community to find better ways to tackle social problems. MoFo has worked with Social Finance on various projects, including structuring a development impact bond focused on decreasing infant mortality in Cameroon.
  • Working with Not Beyond Redemption to help mothers who are in prison, or who have left prison, and need legal assistance to maintain their relationships with their children. 
  • Assisting APPEAL, a charity and law practice that fights miscarriages of justice and advocates for reform of the criminal justice system, in overturning the life sentence of an individual who was wrongfully convicted. 

ESG at MoFo

Morrison Foerster is a founding member of Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy and has dedicated millions of dollars in pro bono legal services to this organisation. Additionally, in 2023, Morrison Foerster announced its partnership with A4ID Sustainable Development Goal Legal Initiative Platform, which addresses Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action, via a Legal Guide. This Legal Guide covers how legal professionals can increase their expertise with respect to climate related topics, play a role in addressing climate justice, advise their clients with respect to climate change, and advance measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. 

From an operational perspective, Morrison Foerster has also committed to setting a near-term science-based GHG emission target and plans to complete a climate risk and opportunity assessment in 2023. To reduce its scope 2 greenhouse gas emission footprint, the Firm has committed to procuring 100% renewable electricity for its U.S. offices in 2025. For more information regarding the firm’s internal environmental sustainability initiatives, please refer to the Environmental Sustainability Committee 2022 Annual Report.

Interview with Trevor James, Training Principal

Chambers Student: How would you describe the firm?  

Trevor James: We are a global firm with 18 offices in the United States, Asia, and Europe. We’re known primarily for our work in the technology space, but that’s not the only thing that we do. MoFo is extremely active, advising clients on corporate/M&A matters, financial services matters, data protection and privacy, disputes and investigations and intellectual property, to name a few. We have a presence in all the major global financial centres of the world. 

Something I say to potential trainees when I interview them is that every firm has its own personality. I encourage people to find somewhere that matches their own personality or aligns with their values. I think we surpass our competitors with our culture and values at MoFo. We’re not only a group of bright people who are passionate about serving our clients, but we also believe in pro bono and promoting diversity and inclusion. We’ve been doing that for a long time – you can go back 80 years and see the things we’ve been doing in that space – and we’ve got a number of firsts under our belt in terms of our D&I achievements, including appointing the first openly gay Chair of a “Big Law” firm. Not only do we have great practices, great clients and great merch(!), our culture and values stand out, too. 

CS: Are there any highlights from the last year you think would be helpful for our readers to know about? 

TJ: We have a great attorney recruitment team. I’ve been doing graduate recruitment forever as it’s something I'm passionate about, but this is my first year as Training Principal working very closely with the team. They’re passionate and extremely good at what they do. We're about to get into the recruiting season again and I’m really looking forward to it. The team’s approach and the way they work results in MoFo attracting a great cohort of trainees every year. We had a fantastic group of people in for our summer vacation scheme, and that happens year after year. If you think about it, some of the people we interview and offer training contracts to may be our future leaders. That is quite a powerful thing and it’s so important that we spend a lot of time on this process. Luckily the team is really passionate about it and is always happy and willing, without question, to put in the time and effort to find the best candidates. 

CS: How would you describe the training environment that you have aimed to create at the firm? 

TJ: It’s global. Nearly everything that we touch has a global element. Because we deliberately take on a small number of trainees per year, they’re part of the team from the get-go and have great support and rapport. They're learning on the job with real tasks from day one, and whatever we’ve asked them to do is part of the big picture. Trainees here aren’t told to just get on with it once they’re assigned a seat, there are regular check-ins to help them achieve their goals. It's a skills-based training contract, with formal training opportunities, working with many colleagues across many jurisdictions and practices. We tell trainees that those two years gives them an opportunity to develop what they need to become a great solicitor. We work closely with supervisors and trainees to identify any areas for development and seek out specific types of work to make sure they’ve got all the skills they need.  

CS: What pro bono opportunities are there at MoFo? 

TJ: As a firm, all of our lawyers (partners included) are expected to do a certain number of pro bono hours. The great thing about pro bono is that trainees are able to take on a project, own it, and run it (with supervision). It helps them to develop the skills that we want them to have, but it’s not only good from a training perspective. We're in the square mile, which is probably home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country, but we’re also next door to one of the poorest boroughs in the country. It’s important to remember our ethos, “to serve the communities in which we’re based,” and pro bono is a big piece of that. We encourage all people to do that, including trainees, as it’s an important part of who we are. 

CS: What’s the current set up with remote working for trainees? 

TJ: Like most law firms, we have a hybrid system of three days in the office and two days working remotely. I learned a lot via imitation and seeing how supervisors did things. That's why it’s important for trainees and supervisors to be in the office. I think it’s important that I’m here at least three days a week for my group as I have a responsibility to our trainees and juniors in making sure they continue to develop. 

CS: What sort of person thrives at the firm? 

TJ: There’s no MoFo type and that’s the last thing we want here. The onus is on us to make sure that we create an environment where everyone can thrive. I’m glad that people are different, and your differences shouldn’t hinder you from being successful.  

CS: How can a candidate really impress at interview? 

TJ: I’ve been involved in some really great interviews with potential trainees. One of the things we ask them to do is a presentation, which is always followed by questions. The best interviewees come prepared and have great answers to those follow-up questions. They don't have to agree with the interviewer, we like them to have their own point of view. It can actually be quite good if the interviewer disagrees as it allows the interviewee to show that they can hold their own. So, be prepared but not too prepared. Attending with over-prepared answers can throw you off course because the discussion can go in any direction but research into your chosen topic is key. 

CS: What’s the reasoning behind inviting current trainees to join the second stage interview panel for vac scheme applications?  

TJ: We’ve been doing that for a number of years to hopefully make candidates feel a bit more relaxed. Having trainees on the panel gives interviewees the chance to ask them questions that I couldn’t answer as it’s been a while since I did my training contract (I won't tell you how many years!). Candidates can get real up-to-date information from them regarding the training contract and how it works, as well as the trainee’s own experience. It gives it a different dimension and works really well. We’re one of very few firms who actually do that, and it helps us to select great candidates. 

It also empowers trainees as they get to have a voice as part of an important process. It’s good for their development and those trainees that do it, really enjoy it. The feedback we get year after year is always very positive. It helps them to see how the interview process works from the firm’s perspective so that they can be part of the whole process when they become more senior. 

CS: Does the firm have any set recruitment targets around diversity?  

TJ: We want to attract and retain diverse talent and focus on potential; it’s why we do not have targets in London. When you’re looking to recruit, you want to have a room of very smart, diverse people with a blend of experience. Not only is it the right approach to take, but it also produces better results. McKinsey’s series of diversity studies, for example, shows how diverse teams are more profitable, efficient and produce much better work for clients. The clients we act for are global, with global issues that need solutions. If you have a room of people with different backgrounds, everyone addresses the problem with a slightly different angle and approach. That enables you to come up with a better solution than if everyone were from exactly the same background. It’s a no brainer from a business perspective. 

Our objective is to go out and find the best talent, so we need to make ourselves attractive so that people apply to us. We want people to look at us and feel that they could have a great career here. Recruiting is just the first piece, followed by advancement and retention. Students are savvy, and they want to see what their career will look like at a particular firm at each stage of their career. The events we participate in are designed to make people want to apply to MoFo, no matter their background. That then enables us to achieve our goal of having a great, diverse workforce filled with extremely capable people.  

CS: And finally, do you have any advice for those thinking about pursuing a career in law? Either at MoFo or more generally? 

TJ: The first thing I would say is that the application process is really important. We all have our different processes, and the big mistake is treating all firms’ application processes the same. They're different. Questions are being asked for a reason, so even though it’s long and time-consuming, you should treat every single application as if it’s the only firm you’re applying to. If you get an interview, you should know a lot about the firm using all the information you can easily find online. Come with your “A game”! 

Morrison Foerster

The Scalpel,
52 Lime Street,

Firm profile

Morrison Foerster is a leading global firm, with over 1,000 lawyers in key technology and finance centres in the US, Europe and Asia. In Europe we have a team of over 150 lawyers in our strategic hubs of London, Berlin and Brussels. We work alongside our colleagues in the US and Asia, drawing on cultural, jurisdictional and market knowledge to deliver the best advice and client service.

Dynamic technology and life sciences companies, some of the largest financial investors and financial institutions, leading consumer product companies, and other market leaders come to MoFo for our expertise, knowledge, advice, and individually tailored client service. We handle some of the world’s largest cross-border transactions and resolve some of the biggest disputes across multiple jurisdictions.

Our firm was built on, and continues to succeed, because of the talent of our lawyers and their innovative approach in the practice of law. We practice in a collegial environment where we value teamwork, diverse perspectives and employee wellbeing. As our nickname MoFo suggests, we take our work seriously but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. 

Main areas of work

Banking & Finance; Corporate Tax; Employment; Financial services; Insolvency & restructuring; Intellectual Property; Outsourcing; Technology, Media and Telecommunications; Capital markets; Commercial property/real estate; competition & EU law; Corporate finance/mergers and acquisitions; Dispute resolution; white-collar crime.

Training opportunities

Our approach at Morrison Foerster enables trainees to start strong in their legal careers, with an induction that is carefully crafted to enhance professional and practical skills developed during formal education. This equips trainees with the essential tools to meet the needs of our colleagues across the firm and clients. Trainees have access to a variety of mentors to guide them through new experiences and ongoing learning and development opportunities required to underpin their legal skills; from the initial trainee orientation sessions, regular skills-based training, significant daily responsibility and autonomy and contributions to our culture and future of the firm. This combined approach stretches trainees to develop the core skills and behaviours and understand the business of law to deliver exceptional client service on complex global matters.

The training period consists of four six-month seats, with the potential to complete overseas secondments in our Singapore and Brussels offices or with our clients. Seat options are subject to business and client needs at the time of the rotations and trainees are invited to identify particular areas of interest during seat allocation discussions.

During your training contract, you’ll have the opportunity to work in at least three distinct areas of law. corporate M&A and litigation and dispute resolution are two of our core areas of practice in London, but there’s also a wide range of specialised practice areas to get involved in. These include: data privacy; employment; finance and banking; intellectual property; tax; technology transactions and more! Trainees have numerous opportunities to work with colleagues across the firm on both matters and pro bono projects.

Partners and associates at the firm are committed to supporting trainees to succeed, so you will receive plenty of formal and informal support including a trainee buddy (a second-year trainee), trainee supervisor (for each of the four seats) and trainee liaison. Your liaison will be a senior associate who will act as your mentor throughout the training contract, helping you to identify strengths, areas for development and stretch opportunities and offer personalised career guidance. There is an active mentoring programme, a formal evaluation and feedback process every quarter and career development workshops tailored to individual needs and interests. Trainees also have access to our health and wellbeing resources, such as a free subscription to the Calm app and a wealth of online information on our portal. In addition to the above, the attorney talent and trainee leadership team are a constant source of resources, guidance and support. 

Vacation scheme

We are looking for dynamic and driven individuals who can display a genuine enthusiasm for a career in law and interest in our core London practices. At MoFo, we couldn’t write our own success story without yours. We collaborate as one firm across borders, practice areas and business functions, and value fresh ideas and innovation over conformity and competition.

In 2024, we will be running two, two-week summer vacation schemes from 17 June to 28 June and from 1 July to 12 July. Our vacation schemes provide insight into life at MoFo and offer the opportunity to consider whether we are the right firm for you. Summer associates will gain a good picture of how much responsibility our trainees are given; it’s also a chance to meet and learn more about our London-based attorneys and staff. The vacation scheme is our sole method of recruiting future trainees. 

Other benefits

25 days’ holiday; pension; private medical insurance; dental plan; group life assurance; group income protection; employee assistance programme; free Calm app subscription; WONE app subscription; Talkspace access; subsidised gym membership; back-up dependents care; season ticket loan; cycle scheme; lifestyle coaching.

University law careers fairs 2023/24

We will be attending a number of the law fairs and events scheduled for this autumn, including, but not limited to:
• Aspiring Solicitors Virtual Diversity Law Fair - 11th and 25th September and 9th October
• Durham University Law Fair - 11th October
• All About Law Virtual Law Fair - 17th and 19th October
• Oxford University Law Fair - 21st October
• Exeter University Virtual Skills Session - 24th October
• Bristol University Virtual Skills Session - 25th October
• All About Law Unveiling Pathways Panel - 6th November
• All About Law Pro Bono Panel - 9th November
• Kings College London Law & Justice Fair - 10th November
• GTI InspireLaw Event - 15th November
• All About Law Digital Campus - 15th November
• Legal Cheek Virtual Law Fair - 21st November
• Hong Kong Law Fair in London - 21st November
• Manchester University Virtual Skills Session - 23rd November
• Cambridge University Skills Session (on campus) - 29th November
• GTI AspireLaw Event - 1st December 

Diversity, inclusion and wellbeing
Morrison Foerster is a place where you can be your personal and professional best; belonging and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do, a core value of our culture and our ethos. We are an international firm with a global diversity and inclusion strategy that is tailored to regional and local needs, while maintaining a one-firm approach, reflective of our people and the communities we serve.

Diversity in Action
For over 40 years, MoFo has been committed to creating a culture that respects and celebrates differences, while providing an inclusive environment where everyone’s contributions are valued. It is essential to who we are as a firm. By each bringing our diverse experiences to work, we strengthen the quality of the service that we provide to our clients, the legal profession, and our communities.

We’ve been a long-time champion for diversity within the legal profession and take pride in our diverse workplace. We believe that lawyers with different backgrounds, interests and experiences work together to create better solutions and offer innovative perspectives for our clients. We continuously work to attract, develop and retain talented lawyers from all backgrounds.

Our London attorneys Brian Bates (senior counsel) and Trevor James (partner) sit on the firmwide diversity strategy committee, founded in 2003. The primary mission of which is to recommend major diversity goals and objectives to our board of directors. We also have a number of active London affinity groups that collaborate with regional and global colleagues to deliver initiatives that are important to us. 

Affinity Groups
Globally, MoFo has over 30 affinity groups that provide support networks and programming for various employee groups. In the London office specifically, we have affinity groups for members and allies of LGBTQ+, for women, and MoFo Together, which focuses on raising awareness and addressing some of the barriers facing underrepresented communities in the legal profession and beyond. Our senior women lawyers in London also play a role in the firm’s global women’s strategy committee, which works closely with firm leadership, including the firm’s chair, firmwide managing partners and board of directors, to ensure that the advancement of women is a constant strategic priority.

MoFo London’s active LGBTQ+ affinity group, MoFo Proud, brings together members of that community as well as its supporters. The LGBTQ+ affinity group provides a forum to discuss issues of concern to the LGBTQ+ community and works to advance networking opportunities within the London office and the broader firm, with clients and across the broader London business community. We’re proud that our chair emeritus was the first openly gay managing partner of an international law firm.

MoFo Together aims to address the barriers facing underrepresented communities (including ethnic minorities) by raising awareness and providing dedicated support to help every individual at Morrison Foerster live their potential. Valuing, respecting and celebrating cultural differences are fundamental to growing and sustaining a diverse workforce and improving the experience of underrepresented groups, and looking at the role that each MoFo colleague has as allies to support. MoFo Together seeks to do this, and more, by spearheading initiatives to create an inclusive workplace for all through four pillars of inclusion, education, empowerment, and representation.

MoFo Women holds regularly events addressing global topics and regional ones with a packed agenda of programmes for women and allies. Based on the four pillars, their strategic approach ensures that topics facing women in the profession now and in the future are explored and openly discussed to enhance the support needed and available.

This Firm's Rankings in
UK Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Information Technology & Outsourcing (Band 4)
    • Capital Markets: Debt (Band 4)

More from MoFo:

Gain further insight into what life is like for trainees and associates at MoFo in London by watching this video.


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