ML Community
Engagement 
Empowering positive change

ML Community Engagement

Leading from a socially responsible and community driven approach, ML Community Engagement is a central tenet of our firm’s culture, bringing our people together to positively impact the communities where we live and work through volunteerism, charitable giving, and sustainability.

ML Community Engagement harnesses the collective power of our core values of collaboration, commitment, and community to create meaningful social impact.

Collaboration
We have long recognized the power in relationships. Bringing together our community partners, our clients, and our people through a collective purpose of doing good for others strengthens our connections and our communities.
Commitment
As we continue to grow as a global law firm, our commitment to our expanding community also grows. We are committed to being innovative change agents, always looking to deliver exceptional service to our communities.
Community
ML Community Engagement is by nature defined by the things that matter to our people in their communities. Weighty in our impact while light on our feet, we respond to the most pressing and most personal needs of our communities.

Primary Contact

Annamaria Santamaria
Community Engagement Coordinator

Corporate and individual financial contributions are key to how we support our communities. Giving is an investment that helps communities thrive and advances our philanthropic commitment.

Our corporate giving includes annual institutional support for a broad range of local and national nonprofits and legal services organizations.

ML Gives: Organizations

In our fast-changing world where anything can happen at any time, we recognize that everyone has a role in responding to disasters. We are prepared to help meet needs quickly through our Disaster Relief Fund. When a natural disaster strikes, our people use this platform to donate directly to relief aid organizations and local charities as well as members of our Morgan Lewis family who may need assistance.

Construction

Our people are givers as proven by our successful fundraising campaigns and donation drives. These localized efforts of goodwill have a profound and demonstrable impact on the bottom line for our nonprofit partners.

SUPPORTING LGBTQ+ AND HIV+ YOUTH

Prior to the pandemic, Yaneeke Samuels supported and sat on the board of two charities, New Alternatives and Life Preservers Project, which assist LGBTQ+ and HIV+ youth. Working with these organizations, Yaneeke has been delivering meals and toiletries to those same groups of people throughout New York City to ensure that they have food and supplies to survive.

FEEDING CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND THE FRONT LINES

For Morgan Lewis, serving the communities in which we live and work has always been part of who we are. While those efforts vary depending on local needs, the commitment is the same firmwide. As just a few examples: our New York, Washington, and Houston offices have raised more than $40,000 for local food-related charities in their cities. Our Philadelphia, Princeton, Chicago, Hartford, London, and New York offices have donated food and supplies to their local hospitals and front-line workers. And our Orange County office compiled their much coveted toilet paper supply to donate necessities and food to a local food bank.

PIVOTING TO FILL A CRITICAL NEED

Helping to address a critical COVID-19 need, a team led by Dennis Gucciardo and Steve Navarro guided CPAP and ventilation technology maker Airon Corp. in a collaboration with GE Healthcare to license the design to its ventilators. Ford Motor Co. is producing tens of thousands of ventilators out of its Michigan plant through this life-saving collaboration.

PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE

Carrie Gonell, Joe Duffy, Nancy Nguyen, and Sarah Allen secured the release of four asylum-seeking women held in a detention center who were at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the crowded center. The team’s dedication led to all four women being released within weeks of our first petition. One of the women had spent nearly three years in immigration detention before her release, and now she, and the other women, can pursue their asylum cases without fear of becoming ill in detention.

TRANSFORMING EMPTY LAND INTO FULL BELLIES

In Northern Cyprus, Izzet Sinan helped fund a makeshift vegetable farm with entirely recovered or reclaimed materials to feed the poor in this corner of the world. Izzet is supporting a cousin, who owns the land and is managing the farm, including building the infrastructure with his own hands and growing the crops with help from friends and family, to feed people affected by the pandemic.

GROWING A GRASS ROOTS MOVEMENT

Lesli Ligorner helped form ProCure Hope with a small team of professionals spanning the US and Asia who are volunteering their time to identify, source, transport and distribute badly needed PPE to front-line workers. With representatives on the ground in both China and the US who speak both English and Mandarin, the group can evaluate supply chains to shorten the time to get masks into the hands of those most in need.

A commitment to diversity and inclusion is one of our core values, influencing how we serve clients, collaborate with colleagues, recruit prospective lawyers and professional staff, and engage with our communities.

Established in 2014, ML Foundation uses funds awarded to Morgan Lewis in a historic settlement on behalf of African American families working to combat nearly a century of government-sponsored racial segregation in the Baltimore area. Our foundation provides financial support to promising law students from underrepresented groups to promote diversity, and thereby strengthen the legal profession and improve its contributions to our communities.

Yewande Alade

Yewande Alade

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Ismail Ercan

Ismail Ercan

Boston College Law School

Jeremiah Evans

Jeremiah Evans

New York University School of Law

Jorge Ortiz

Jorge Ortiz

University of Virginia School of Law

Chidima Osuchukwu

Chidima Osuchukwu

The George Washington University Law School

Erica Pena

Erica Pena

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Lexi Wung

Lexi Wung

University of Michigan Law School

We serve our communities by engaging in event-based, skill-based, and service-based activities. Our focus is broad and our relationships run deep, making a significant difference to our nonprofit partners and maximizing our global social footprint.

Each year we come together around a specific theme aligned to our philanthropic strategy to participate in events related to pro bono work and community service. Community Impact Week offers our people a chance to serve in legal trainings and clinics, donation drives, and other volunteer opportunities to create meaningful, rewarding experiences that strengthen our connectivity.

Vote x3

ML Votes! is our commitment to encourage members of our Morgan Lewis family to vote by giving them the resources and time they need to exercise their voting rights and participate in our democracy. Morgan Lewis has partnered with Committee of Seventy’s WeVote campaign to promote a culture of voting in businesses, organizations, and communities. ML Votes recognizes that it is our responsibility to be civically engaged and is committed to making every voice count by upholding this basic principle of democracy.

Environmental sustainability is a key component of our pledge to deliver exceptional client service to our communities. Sustainability informs the way that we operate—caring for our environment by making thoughtful choices to reduce our impact and contributing to a better future for all.

Our lawyers and professional staff lead our firmwide sustainability initiatives and serve as ambassadors for the cause. Our Sustainability Working Group meets regularly to assess local internal sustainability practices, exchange knowledge, innovate ways to engage in environmentally friendly practices, institute accountability, and propel our campaigns forward.

Our Sustainability Global Working Group ambassadors lead our local committees, which are made up of a larger group of lawyers and professional staff who are passionate about these issues. Our local committees share ideas, improve local practices, partner with local organizations to advance community engagement initiatives, and carry out firmwide campaigns.

We are a member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network (LFSN), a nonprofit organization of law firms and legal departments committed to promoting the benefits of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility within their firms and throughout the legal profession. Through our LFSN commitment, we participate in the group’s self-assessment to measure our efforts and benchmark our program with the legal industry.