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.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

150 - 250


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

21 total (17 2Ls; 4 1Ls)


Base Salary

All offices1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, and this certainly is the case with Munger, Tolles & Olson. Its 200 attorneys in three offices are the best of the best, and the hiring process ensures this. Candidates have stellar academic records from T20 law schools, with most having clerked for a federal judge. The firm looks for associates who show a strong desire to work there and who will assume responsibility of their work immediately; further, the entire firm votes on hiring decisions. Colleagues are pleasant and supportive, and people seem to care about each other. Partners are respectful and treat associates as equals, and given the firm’s free market work assignment system, they are invested in cultivating associates’ practice skills. This development comes not so much i...

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...

Associate Reviews

  • “MTO's culture is wonderful—my colleagues are hard working and deeply love the law and law practice, but they support and look out for each other, down to the most junior attorneys, from day one.”
  • “The firm's culture is incredibly collegial and warm. People care about each other's families and expect that lawyers are committed parents, if they have children. There are many opportunities for social engagement, but the firm does not mandate attendance, as some other firms do, in recognition of the many priorities our lawyers have in life aside from work.”
  • “The culture is as good as it can be given the demands and pressures of working at a firm of this caliber. Yes, we work hard, but the firm is dedicated to transparency and to making colleagues feel like they are part of the firm. I enjoy my colleagues as people.”

Diversity at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

"Since our founding in 1962, Munger, Tolles & Olson has been at the forefront of diversifying the legal profession, and the firm's tradition of diversity continues today. We remain a leader in recruiting, retaining, and promoting women, LGBTQ, and minority attorneys, and we consistently beat national averages in the number of diverse lawyers in our associate and partner ranks. We also work hard to foster an inclusive environment where all of our lawyers can thrive and contribute fully and authentically to all aspects of firm life. This..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “MTO is extremely competitive. The firm chiefly hires from top 20 schools, has demanding grades expectations, and typically hires people who have federal clerkships either under their belt or in the near future. Moreover, every recruiting decision is brought before and voted upon by the firm's attorneys, both partners and associates, which means that only the very best applicants are selected.”
  • “MTO prioritizes clerkship experience, grades, and school prestige, and the interpersonal skills a candidate shows during his or her interviews matter a great deal as well.”
  • “MTO looks for candidates with top-tier academic credentials (either strong grades at a top school, or stellar grades at other schools). The firm has a special interest in candidates with an entrepreneurial side, or who otherwise seem likely to take early ownership in their matters and the firm.”

Perks & Benefits