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Press Release

Morgan Lewis Expands Pro Bono Legal Team with Inaugural Senior Pro Bono Trial Lawyer

January 09, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC, January 9, 2019: Morgan Lewis partner Susan Baker Manning has been named the firm’s first senior pro bono trial lawyer and will lead high-level litigation on behalf of underrepresented and disenfranchised persons. This full-time position is in addition to the five current full-time legal positions in Morgan Lewis’s Pro Bono group, and reaffirms the firm’s commitment to serving society’s most vulnerable while advancing the law in key areas that disproportionately affect the underrepresented, including the more than 1,800 pro bono clients we serve each year.

Susan, an intellectual property litigator, has dedicated thousands of hours to pro bono service throughout her career. She has made a meaningful impact on the protection of First Amendment, human, and civil rights, including by arguing on behalf of major corporations in an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex marriage discrimination adversely affects the business community.

In her new role, Susan will work closely with Senior Pro Bono Counsel Rachel Strong, who leads Morgan Lewis’s pro bono efforts. As lead trial lawyer, Susan will manage large impact litigation matters in support of at-risk individuals, such as those seeking access to housing, healthcare, education, and other public benefits and those fleeing persecution in their home countries. She also will focus on expanding the firm’s civil rights work by deepening relationships with current partner organizations and forming alliances with new ones.

“Susan has proven her dedication to pro bono representation, and her leadership of our issue-based litigation will enhance our ability to serve those most in need,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon. “In partnership with our clients and the nonprofits we work alongside and support, our firm continually looks for ways to take our efforts to the next level, and we believe having a dedicated pro bono partner lead large-scale litigation matters will help serve the greater good.”

In fiscal year 2018, nearly every Morgan Lewis lawyer dedicated at least 20 hours to pro bono work for a total of more than 117,000 hours. Much of that time was spent representing children and families, which is a highlight of the firm’s signature project as well as a focus of its annual Community Impact Week. Our lawyers also spent significant time representing individuals in matters related to immigration, public benefits, housing, guardianship, and adoption. Morgan Lewis lawyers around the world also provide pro bono counsel to tax-exempt organizations that serve marginalized communities, foster scientific research and innovation, and promote the arts and education.