I interned at the Tokyo office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, a law firm that deals with international corporate deals such as cross-border M&A deals and patent litigations, mainly representing stereotypical large Japanese conglomerates in their dealings in the United States. Having grown from the small foreign office founded by the now legendary Ken Siegel in the ‘80s to the largest foreign law firm in Japan, and having an office in a posh high-rise building next to Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace, Morrison Foerster is the American law firm in Japan. Although my status as the only “clueless” undergraduate intern in an environment full of seasoned legal professionals and law students ensured that a not-insignificant part of my work would consist of doing what everybody else told me to do, I was able to work on a number of interesting cases, such as a pending merger involving Japanese and American telecommunications firms, and a case involving patent enforcement for a Japanese firm in the United States.
More importantly, I had the opportunity to sample what life and the corporate culture are like at the Tokyo office of a western firm. Even if I do not decide on a career in law, it seems highly likely that I will work in such an environment in the future, and thus all in all, I found the experience of interning at Morrison & Foerster a rewarding privilege.