Miriam Vogel, Senior of Counsel, Morrison & Foerster LLP
How long have you been working for your current company?
Since August 2008
Briefly explain your career history and what led you to your current position.
I practiced business and appellate law with a small firm, then became a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court where I served from 1986 to 1990. In 1900, I was elevated to the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division One, where I served until July 2008. My 18 years as an appellate judge led me to my current appellate practice at Morrison & Foerster.
What is your proudest professional achievement and why?
I’m very proud of the years I served on the Court.
What are the greatest challenges that you face in your current role and what do you do to overcome them?
I am extremely fortunate at this stage of my career to be doing exactly what I want to do with the people I want to work with – and about the only challenge I face is trying to find enough time to do everything I want to do!
How difficult is it for you personally to attain work-life balance and how do you endeavour to do this?
It is more difficult now that I have returned to practice – when I was on the court, my hours were more reasonable and there were fewer demands on my personal life. I manage now because I have a very understanding and supportive husband and our children are all adults.
Did you have a mentor or role model in your career or while you were studying law? Who were they and how did they help you?
I clerked at the Court of Appeal the year following graduation from law school, and the judge I clerked for (Hon. Robert S. Thompson, now deceased) was a wonderful inspiration for me.
How effective do you think corporate diversity initiatives are? What methods do you think are most effective and why?
I think all such efforts are important and should be encouraged.
Were there any points in your career when you felt you were at a disadvantage or at an advantage because you were female?
No, but I am the exception, not the rule. I have been extremely fortunate.
What do you think have been the most significant changes for women in the legal industry over the past five years?
Recognition of family commitments and accommodation for childcare needs.