MoFo Mojo Workin' on Student Recruits

Many law students had that glazed over expression when the Morrison & Foerster recruiters would visit on campus.  To the students, most law firm web sites said exactly the same thing in the same way. It was time to get the MoFo Mojo workin.’

The results included:

  • Many on-campus interview sign-ups and lots of good comments from students after the launch.
  • A firmwide summer class size of about 120 recruits.
  • A total of 230 lateral hires firmwide in the past year, including partners, associates and of counsel.
  • Law school deans complimented the firm.
  • Positive feedback from headhunters who place lateral hires.
  • A 2007 LMA Your Honor Award.

The Morrison & Foerster recruiting campaign included a funny and informative Web site,, a deck of 25 “Why MoFo?” cards, and a two-page advertising spread asking, “Do You Have IT?”

“What was different was that the interview process was more informed.  The quality of the interviews was better.  The discussions were more engaged,” said Anna T. Pinedo, a partner in the firm’s New York office.

The Mojo that was at the heart of the 1,000 lawyer firm with offices in 18 cities worldwide is summed up this way:


That Certain Something that Sets a Morrison & Foerster Attorney Apart.
That Delivers The "Game, Set, Match" Idea.
That Commands The Courtroom.
That Nails The Negotiation.
That Knows There's No I In Team.
That Works To Live.
That Lives When Not Working.
That Is Open To All Sides.
That Appreciates All Kinds.
That Makes Big Plans.
If You Have That Kind of Mojo
You’ll Fit Right in at Mofo.”

Pinedo, who bills 2,400 hours per year, wrote all the copy for the campaign in 60 days on evenings and weekends.  She started work in June 2006 and rolled out the campaign in the second week of August.  “It was a lot of effort,” she said, in the understatement of the year. “It was hard to pull case histories out of partners and get clients to agree.  But it was important because law students ask, “What do you do? Give me an example.”

The law firm retained Cahan & Associates to advise on strategy, design, programming, and interviews of partners, associates and summer associates.  “On our part, we have found it challenging to convey in the flat text of a brochure or in the numbers on a NALP form the attributes that define our firm,” said Michelle A. Paitich, Capital Markets Practice Coordinator. “Through videos of summer associates and associates that joined the firm as laterals, a prospective candidate meets MoFos first-hand and learns about their experiences. Video makes the experience more personal.”

MoFo was targeting a highly sought-after audience: students aged 24-28 who had done well at Columbia, NYU, Harvard, Berkeley, Yale and Georgetown.  “This campaign spoke to them. They got it,” Pinedo said.

“We wanted to tell them that you can keep your personality at our firm and not have to check it at the door,” she added. “We have a sense of humor, we have personality, and we’re less inhibited.”

“We were looking for associates who have high energy, enthusiasm, the special spark and the hunger to do exciting things.”  And the Mojo worked.

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