Alumni Profile: Anne Conley '15, Associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Photo of Anne Conley

“While I was an undergraduate student, I worked in restaurants and there were so many aspects of that industry that I loved. I contrasted that with my intellectual experience as a student studying philosophy, and I realized I really enjoyed working with people in a fast-paced environment, but I also wanted analytical rigor. I feel as a litigator, I get both,” said Anne Conley, an Associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and 2015 graduate of UCI Law.

Anne explained, she wasn’t exactly ever sold on the idea of law school, but she was certain of the things she enjoyed doing: reading, research, and writing, and then there was her desire to make a difference in the world -- she considered law as a concrete way of accomplishing all of that. In addition, she witnessed what she described as toxic tendencies in one of her restaurants jobs – in which her supervisor would commit wage theft particularly with immigrant workers. That experience left her frustrated that she couldn’t do more. Therefore, it was knowing that this path encompassed the things she was most interested in, and would give that got her to take the plunge and apply to law school.

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a minor in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and taking a year off to reflect (and work), she decided to go for it. She applied to UCI Law after a family friend who was practicing law in Orange County suggested she look into the law school.

“It was still a very new school at the time, so I did some research and learned more about Dean Chemerinsky’s work and career. That got me really excited because I felt like my values matched the school’s values. The emphasis on giving back to the community, on pro bono and public service work, and on practical training – it all appealed to me,” Anne said.

As a student, she quickly became involved in a variety of pro bono projects, such as assisting survivors of domestic violence with obtaining restraining orders, counseling workers about their rights, and helping immigrants navigate the naturalization process. Throughout law school, Anne completed over 200 hours of pro bono work in order to graduate with Pro Bono High Honors. Anne also got involved with the UCI Law Review serving as Administrative Chair, the Global Justice Summit, the Appellate Law Clinic, and participated in and served on the board for UCI Law’s Moot Court Competition, winning the Best Brief award and placing second in the oral competition.

The hands-on, practical learning components of the curriculum at UCI Law, Anne said, really prepared her to be a lawyer. “Starting as a 1L, we were taught how to think and work as a lawyer, not a law student. That really stuck with me – how to analyze legal issues and address them practically – it really prepared me for the legal field.”

As for her advice to those who are still deciding where to attend law school, she had this to say about her experience at UCI Law: “It was such a welcoming environment; everyone was so warm and collegial. There was a real sense of community, and it allowed me to be happy and to intellectually thrive. That’s why I recommend UCI Law.”