Ronald Olson

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Ronald L. Olson (born July 9, 1941) is an American attorney and partner in the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP. Most recently, Olson was the lead attorney representing the board of directors of Yahoo! in connection with Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Yahoo!. Olson was contemporaneously involved in Yahoo!'s Google outsourcing contract.


Ronald Olson received his baccalaureate degree from Drake University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan. In 1967, Olson worked as a civil rights attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. In 1968, he clerked for the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Honorable David L. Bazelon. Olson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

From 1968 to the present, he has practiced law with the Los Angeles law firm now known as Munger, Tolles & Olson. Olson was formerly Chairman of the Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary (1991–92), Chairman of the Litigation Section (1981–82), and Chairman of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (1976–86) of the American Bar Association, and was Vice President of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California (1986–87). He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Olson’s field of specialization is litigation and corporate counseling. He counsels individual executives and boards of directors in a range of matters, including corporate governance.

Olson is a director of Berkshire Hathaway, Edison International, City National Corporation, The Washington Post Company, and Western Asset Trusts. He serves as a director of several non-profits, including the RAND Corporation (formerly chair), the Mayo Clinic, the Council of Foreign Relations, Southern California Public Radio (formerly chair), and the California Institute of Technology. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Claremont University Center and Graduate School from 1984-94.

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