Munger Tolles is incredibly selective, but if you’re hired, you’ve just joined a top-notch, tight-knit firm where associates participate in major firm decisions. With strong mentorship—especially given that the firm is committed to maintaining a low partner-to-associate ratio, and that there are only 200 attorneys across three U.S. offices—new associates tackle exciting work from day one. Munger Tolles associates can expect meaningful pro bono opportunities, for which the firm has been recognized.
Total No. Attorneys (2023)
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Munger Tolles may be small by BigLaw standards, but it would be a mistake to judge the firm by its size. The firm is truly elite, and its 200 attorneys, spread over just three offices, represent the best and the brightest in the industry. The hiring process is extremely competitive because the firm wants it all. Top law schools and grades get you into the interview room, but candidates should be prepared for rigorous behavioral and legally substantive interview questions to get the offer. As tough as the hiring process is, the reward for getting hired is huge. Associates at Munger Tolles enjoy an exceptionally friendly and respectful culture that values work-life balance while retaining a healthy amount of social interactions. Partners are deeply invested in associate professional...
About the Firm
Munger, Tolles & Olson is a SoCal elite, with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The firm is best known for its litigation chops, and through its highly selective recruiting process, draws in a high number of clerks.
Cali Firm with Cornhusker Friends
Munger Tolles was founded in 1962 by seven partners, including Charles Munger and Edwin Leroy Tolles. Munger departed after three years, but this proved to work in the firm’s interests. A close friend of investor Warren Buffett, Munger went on to become vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which in turn became a long-time Munger Tolles client.
Tolles passed away in 2008, leaving Ronald L. Olson as the last name partner still in active practice at the firm. Olson, who joined in 1...
- “Everyone is exceptionally nice and respectful of one another, at all levels. Lawyers socialize at weekly lunches and happy hours at the firm, and occasionally outside the firm, but people seem to balance firm life with their own private and family lives well, and there is a general recognition that everyone has lives outside the firm. Accordingly, there is no real pressure to socialize, but there are opportunities.”
- “.... The firm's culture is incredibly collegial—colleagues often know each other's families and take an interest in each other’s personal lives. That being said, because so many lawyers here have balance in their lives, associates aren't going out every night together. Apart from the regular and fun social programming, folks like to go home to their families.”
- “A bit introverted and nerdy, but exceedingly kind and decent. Respectful and mindful of the fact that we are all fallible human beings.”
- “MTO is a friendly, collaborative place. We have lunch together twice weekly. The day-to-day atmosphere is relaxed but professional. People here have high expectations and take their work seriously, but they are also incredibly competent and professional.”
Diversity at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Getting Hired Here
- “The firm is looking for top candidates from top schools; grades are important, as are clerkships, law review, leadership, and diverse backgrounds and experiences.”
- “One of MTO's core missions is to hire the very best lawyers, so classic prestige resume items (like a top law school, clerkships, and excellent grades) are standard. That said, the firm is (in my experience) not overly focused on those factors, and hires lawyers with exceptional backgrounds from non-top law schools, without clerkships, etc.”
- “MTO is known to be selective, and it lives up to such a reputation. The behavioral interviewing process is quite intense, and the entire firm votes on whether to give a candidate an offer.”