PHILADELPHIA, June 16, 2016: Morgan Lewis featured an extraordinarily broad range of activities—from sprucing up a children’s zoo in Silicon Valley and hosting high-level discussions on education rights in New York and Boston, to conducting a book drive in Dubai—during the firm’s successful Community Impact Week supporting education around the world.
More than 1,200 Morgan Lewis lawyers, professional staff, and their families and friends took part in 150 events during the week of June 6-12. Participants contributed their time and energy to improving various aspects of the educational experience, including improving student nutrition, studying barriers to educational advancement, and raising awareness of the challenges confronting immigrant students.
Among the highlights of Community Impact Week:
- In Philadelphia, more than 200 participants gathered for a full day of events that included improving the grounds of a public school, filling backpacks with art supplies for local elementary students, packaging books for preschoolers, and preparing breakfast kits for homebound elderly people.
- The Washington, DC, office kicked off a signature pro bono project to train lawyers to represent children in various areas, such as expulsion and suspension cases, special education matters, and juvenile immigration. Lawyers and staff from that office also donated hundreds of hours of work to food assistance programs, including building a greenhouse on the grounds of a local school.
- Lawyers from the Boston and New York offices led an important roundtable discussion addressing Morgan Lewis’s groundbreaking work in the area of education rights, drawing more than 100 registrants to the presentation, which was available via video.
- The New York office also hosted a debate competition for 20 teenagers, highlighted by a “showdown” pitting teams of Morgan Lewis lawyers paired with students against one another on the topic of standardized testing.
- The Dubai office hosted a book drive for the National Charity School, which supports underprivileged children with limited means for attending school.
- The San Francisco office hosted a group of Legal Services for Children student clients to hear about their immigration, education, and career paths.
- Lawyers and staff from the firm’s Silicon Valley office volunteered at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, fixing up enclosures and performing landscaping work.
- More than two-dozen Chicago lawyers and staff helped a local school serving poor families by moving furniture, sorting teaching materials, and cataloging books.
- In Hartford, lawyers and paralegals began drafting a potentially influential report on successful strategies to avoid suspensions and expulsions in Connecticut schools. The final document is to be shared with lawmakers and the state’s top school officials.
- Members of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica offices painted images from beloved children’s books and sold the artwork as a fundraiser to support educational and food bank causes. A painting of “Charlotte’s Web” was judged the winner.
“This was truly a gratifying experience for every person who participated,” said Morgan Lewis associate talent and pro bono partner Amanda Smith. “We know that it is critical to improve educational opportunities, especially for families living in poverty, and last week we put our firm on the front lines of that effort.”
Morgan Lewis last year contributed nearly 100,000 hours to pro bono representations, an average of more than 60 hours per lawyer. The firm has long treated pro bono hours as billable, and it recognizes and rewards lawyers who have achieved success in pro bono representations. Morgan Lewis is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, pledging to spend at least 3% of its billable hours each year on pro bono matters.