Law360 examined the professional backgrounds of the nation's 870 federal judges, revealing that Munger Tolles & Olson LLP is among the top law firms to serve as springboards for the most sitting federal judges. This trend is partly due to the firm’s selective hiring, a strong litigation practice and encouragement of government service, according to a Law360 Pulse analysis.
With roughly 200 attorneys across three offices, Munger Tolles & Olson is the only firm of its size to top the list.
In the article, Munger Tolles’ Co-Managing Partner Malcolm A. Heinicke expressed how the firm "really celebrates" its attorneys taking on roles in government service. Over 80% of Munger Tolles' lawyers were once law clerks, so the firm's former attorneys "often return to the very courts where they clerked" when they become judges, he said.
"Because of our heavy presence in California, it's not a surprise that so many of our former colleagues are now serving on the Ninth Circuit," Heinicke told Law360. "We are a firm of lawyers who love the law, love the judicial process, and you see that common thread throughout all of our three offices."
Six Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges are Munger Tolles alum. As United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer retires, there is a possibility he could be replaced by a former Munger Tolles summer associate, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.