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Patent2014

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Let's talk MoFo

Post by Patent2014 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:59 am

Does anyone have any experience at MoFo (summer or associate) they would like to share? Particularly, if you've spent time there and other firms, how does it compare? I'm most curious about it from an IP standpoint, but any insights into the firm in general would be well appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:23 am

Ex-MoFo Bay Area litigation associate.

In general, I had a good experience at MoFo and have a positive view of the firm as an alum. I was at MoFo as a junior. I was given a good mix of substantive work; got lots of drafting experience; went to trial; and barely did any doc review (<2 weeks). I liked my colleagues, and we had our fair share of lunches and happy hours. I felt the firm's heavily-marketed commitment to pro bono and diversity was sincere. My pro bono hours were very high, and I never heard a word of complaint from the firm; the hours were fully credited for all purposes including high-hours bonus. I didn't really have any bad experiences with "screamer" partners. My billable hours, including pro bono, ranged from 2200-2500. I found MoFo to be "flashier" than some other firms in terms of office space, fancier parties, etc., although this may have changed since I've been there.

In the interest of giving you possible cons as well as pros: The San Francisco office is very large, and you have to take the initiative to get yourself established in your practice group and beyond. It's possible to be invisible and "telecommute from your office," which won't really move your career forward. The firm *can* be less personal of an experience at the outset than other smaller biglaw offices in the Bay Area, but this won't last if you get out there and put down ties. I also felt that MoFo emphasized face time, including evenings and weekends, more than other firms I've been at ... and you shouldn't underestimate how much more draining this can make the biglaw experience. Also, a number of my friends who stayed into the mid/senior ranks (fifth year and up) were asked to leave the firm (after a grace period to find another job) when it determined they would not make partner, but before running out an 8-10 year track. I've heard more anecdotal stories of this happening at MoFo than elsewhere, although I obviously know a whole lot of MoFo associates which will skew things. Still, it's worth noting the contrast to the experience of many of my senior associate friends at other Bay Area firms who did not make partner -- but were only asked to leave after 9-10 years. This is only going to be relevant to you if you are intending a long stretch at a firm; most associates leave MoFo, like any other firm, within the first five years, when "up or out" is a non-issue.

I left the firm to pursue a specific non-biglaw opportunity that came my way I couldn't refuse, but I have no regrets about my time there. If you have any specific questions, I'll do my best to answer.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:38 am

current SF associate who previously spent time at another biglaw firm. it's difficult to offer much on-point information because the firm's so large.

atmosphere: i have encountered a "screamer" partner, but s/he is an anomaly in my group. facetime is definitely more noted at mofo than my previous firm (and from what i can tell from friends, many other bay area firms). people are generally collegial, but i wouldn't characterize the environment as "warm." egos are more apparent than at my prior firm as well, with people occasionally humble-bragging about hours and how busy they are. i agree that the firm does seem to value pro bono service, although the opportunities i see are surprisingly sparse considering the size of the office. i do know some people who have received pushback from partners they work for, but i imagine this occurs at every large firm.

compensation: the shift in associate bonuses this year has been fairly well documented on ATL. doubt the firm will be a market leader in the foreseeable future, given management's attitude towards associates (opaque relationships and a clear tendency toward trying to do enough not to seem uncompetitive). i'll be interested to see if the new bonus structure sticks (i.e., no market multiples for high billers), and if so, whether it notably changes the office's culture.

work: i can't speak to the IP group, but i think the quality of work in general is pretty good. i felt the responsibility i had as a junior was fairly remarkable, which was both a positive and a negative. i do think mofo is miles behind some other firms in terms of training programs (in sophistication, depth, etc.), but training also varies by group. and many other firms are also stuck in the stone ages in terms of training. official hours targets are (i believe) 1950 + 400 "productive" nonbillables. the fact that i don't actually know our minimum target is indicative of how many hours i actually put in.

financially: the firm seems to be doing alright financially; this past year was its 3rd-best year on record, thought the firm did (purportedly) miss budget.

offices: SF offices are relatively snazzy with pretty decent kitchenettes on each floor. associate offices are pretty decently sized, although the building location isn't spectacular (kirkland has the best SF offices, imo--although the actual associate offices there are tiny).

overall: i don't regret coming to the firm--it's the biggest office in SF and certainly a recognizable brand in the city/region--but i don't expect leaving to make me sad.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:02 am

1L here from B/S what kind of grades would you need to be competitive for a job at Mofo?

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:1L here from B/S what kind of grades would you need to be competitive for a job at Mofo?
Along the same lines, what kind of grades at H?

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1L here from B/S what kind of grades would you need to be competitive for a job at Mofo?
Along the same lines, what kind of grades at H?
(former MoFo associate here) For HLS, as long as you're on track to graduate cum laude, you should be fine for MoFo (obviously, higher is better.)

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by johndhi » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ex-MoFo Bay Area litigation associate.

In general, I had a good experience at MoFo and have a positive view of the firm as an alum. I was at MoFo as a junior. I was given a good mix of substantive work; got lots of drafting experience; went to trial; and barely did any doc review (<2 weeks). I liked my colleagues, and we had our fair share of lunches and happy hours. I felt the firm's heavily-marketed commitment to pro bono and diversity was sincere. My pro bono hours were very high, and I never heard a word of complaint from the firm; the hours were fully credited for all purposes including high-hours bonus. I didn't really have any bad experiences with "screamer" partners. My billable hours, including pro bono, ranged from 2200-2500. I found MoFo to be "flashier" than some other firms in terms of office space, fancier parties, etc., although this may have changed since I've been there.

In the interest of giving you possible cons as well as pros: The San Francisco office is very large, and you have to take the initiative to get yourself established in your practice group and beyond. It's possible to be invisible and "telecommute from your office," which won't really move your career forward. The firm *can* be less personal of an experience at the outset than other smaller biglaw offices in the Bay Area, but this won't last if you get out there and put down ties. I also felt that MoFo emphasized face time, including evenings and weekends, more than other firms I've been at ... and you shouldn't underestimate how much more draining this can make the biglaw experience. Also, a number of my friends who stayed into the mid/senior ranks (fifth year and up) were asked to leave the firm (after a grace period to find another job) when it determined they would not make partner, but before running out an 8-10 year track. I've heard more anecdotal stories of this happening at MoFo than elsewhere, although I obviously know a whole lot of MoFo associates which will skew things. Still, it's worth noting the contrast to the experience of many of my senior associate friends at other Bay Area firms who did not make partner -- but were only asked to leave after 9-10 years. This is only going to be relevant to you if you are intending a long stretch at a firm; most associates leave MoFo, like any other firm, within the first five years, when "up or out" is a non-issue.

I left the firm to pursue a specific non-biglaw opportunity that came my way I couldn't refuse, but I have no regrets about my time there. If you have any specific questions, I'll do my best to answer.
Interested to hear about what you wound up doing, if you'd be kind enough to PM me.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1L here from B/S what kind of grades would you need to be competitive for a job at Mofo?
also interested in this from B. i've heard of a B to MoFo pipeline, but i don't know specifics. can median get MoFo?

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 08, 2021 4:58 am

Hi - Reviving this thread to see if any MoFo alums or associates would be willing to answer some questions about SF office, thanks!

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 08, 2021 11:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:35 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1L here from B/S what kind of grades would you need to be competitive for a job at Mofo?
Along the same lines, what kind of grades at H?
(former MoFo associate here) For HLS, as long as you're on track to graduate cum laude, you should be fine for MoFo (obviously, higher is better.)
that's way too high imo

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 08, 2021 3:54 pm

I can only speak about the London office. I was in the corporate team 3.5 years ago, and I can confirm that the head of the corporate team is a golden turd.

Is there a culture in the London MoFo office? In the same way a North Korean gulag has a culture then, yes, it does have a culture. A culture borne out of trauma bonding. This is by far the worst managed law firm in Europe at least - avoid!

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 08, 2021 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 11:17 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:35 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1L here from B/S what kind of grades would you need to be competitive for a job at Mofo?
Along the same lines, what kind of grades at H?
(former MoFo associate here) For HLS, as long as you're on track to graduate cum laude, you should be fine for MoFo (obviously, higher is better.)
that's way too high imo
I was going to say something but was scared of being wrong ... at my lower T-14 people got Mofo SanFran with like a 3.5(ish) which would not be cum laude at a school quite lower than Harvard.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 08, 2021 7:18 pm

No way MoFo requires cum laude from HLS, I'd even say you could get straight P's 1L year and still be in the running for a 2L summer position with excellent interviewing and a demonstrated interest in the Bay/tech.

The people I know from B that went to MoFo had pretty good grades, I'd say at least an even number of H's to P's. Very unlikely a straight-P from B gets an offer, but it's definitely happened before (even for 1L summer positions).

To answer OP's question, everyone I know that joined MoFo as a summer really enjoyed their experience, and the 1Ls that summered there from my class didn't bother to do OCI, which says a lot.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 08, 2021 7:37 pm

Maybe most of the people who got offers didn't actually go, but at SLS the average 2L they gave an offer to was significantly above median. I'm not sure if you have to be cum laude as the HLS guy said, but at least at SLS, I think the only firms more grade selective in the bay area are Gibson, Keker, and MTO (but I don't think they let you summer in SF), and maybe some NY firms like Sullivan (although most Bay Area firms are not very selective so that isn't saying much).

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 08, 2021 7:57 pm

Any insight on culture, billables, nonbillables, etc. on MoFo's SF or Silicon Valley office?

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sun May 09, 2021 10:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 7:37 pm
I'm not sure if you have to be cum laude as the HLS guy said, but at least at SLS, I think the only firms more grade selective in the bay area are Gibson, Keker, and MTO (but I don't think they let you summer in SF), and maybe some NY firms like Sullivan (although most Bay Area firms are not very selective so that isn't saying much).
100%

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 09, 2022 10:01 am

Bumping this. Any insight on culture/hours etc in MoFo's lit groups?

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 09, 2022 2:39 pm

not sure why you necro'd this thread BUT mofo is known as a sweatshop in the Bay Area

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 09, 2022 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 2:39 pm
not sure why you necro'd this thread BUT mofo is known as a sweatshop in the Bay Area
Were the rudest / strangest firm I dealt with in OCI. Months later some lady in recruiting sent me a personal email saying “Letting you know you have been rejected. Best of luck with school.” I remember thinking that was so weird.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 09, 2022 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 7:37 pm
Maybe most of the people who got offers didn't actually go, but at SLS the average 2L they gave an offer to was significantly above median. I'm not sure if you have to be cum laude as the HLS guy said, but at least at SLS, I think the only firms more grade selective in the bay area are Gibson, Keker, and MTO (but I don't think they let you summer in SF), and maybe some NY firms like Sullivan (although most Bay Area firms are not very selective so that isn't saying much).
I got an offer from MoFo NY below median at SLS

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 10, 2022 2:34 pm

Looking at the SLS grades data, Mofo SF's median offer is to a 5H student (so around/just above median), with a cutoff at 2Hs (well below median). That's a noticeably lower floor than Cooley or Fenwick SF (both of which have median offers at 7H with a floor around 3-4H), and roughly on par with WSGR Palo Alto.

Edit: something about Cooley/Fenwick being so much higher than WSGR/Goodwin doesn't really pass the smell test for me, so this data may be questionable.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 12, 2022 11:24 am

Not sure how perception is of MoFo today, but when I was in law school (which was over a decade ago, sigh), they were my first choice. I didn't know much about them other than the fact they had a cool and hip, yet prestigious, vibe. Largely due to the silly shortening of their name. I was a dumb kid with limited information.

My experience in the SF office there was terrible (corporate). Awful personalities, total sweatshop. Left after 2 years - couldn't take it anymore. It was by far the worst working environment I've ever experienced. 1/10, would not recommend to anyone. Don't be fooled.

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Re: Let's talk MoFo

Post by Anonymous User » Sat May 14, 2022 12:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 11:24 am
Not sure how perception is of MoFo today, but when I was in law school (which was over a decade ago, sigh), they were my first choice. I didn't know much about them other than the fact they had a cool and hip, yet prestigious, vibe. Largely due to the silly shortening of their name. I was a dumb kid with limited information.

My experience in the SF office there was terrible (corporate). Awful personalities, total sweatshop. Left after 2 years - couldn't take it anymore. It was by far the worst working environment I've ever experienced. 1/10, would not recommend to anyone. Don't be fooled.
Does that apply to all corporate groups or specific ones? By total sweatshop, are you referring to hours?

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