Responsible Business Report

An Interconnected Future

Taking Action Today… for a Better Tomorrow

June 8, 2023

Our responsibility toward society, and the opportunity to be of service, is one we take very seriously—and have since our firm’s founding 150 years ago.

We know that our future is profoundly linked with the welfare of the communities and clients we serve, the well-being of our workforce, and the health of our environment. Through actions, advocacy, and philanthropy, we are resolved to be a vigilant steward for the public good, to advocate for the vulnerable, and to implement other responsible business practices.

We are proud to join in common cause with our clients and community partners on life-changing pro bono and community service work. We strive internally to make our firm more sustainable, and we share knowledge and expertise through our ESG & Sustainability Advisory practice to help our clients do the same. We stand arm-in-arm with those clients and other partners to confront a rising tide of social injustice and to protect human rights and civil liberties. And we joyfully celebrate our diversity as well as that of our clients, nurturing welcoming and inclusive spaces within our organizations.

There is much work to be done. And the fact is, this work has no expiration date. We are dedicated to ongoing and rigorous progress for our next 150 years, the values of our past informing the positive actions of our future. Because what we do today matters for all of our tomorrows.

Jami McKeon
Chair of the Firm


{{ $parent.mobileStickyHeading }}

Uplifting Our Communities

Whether it’s partnering with a capacity-building nonprofit to assist struggling small business owners secure government funds during the pandemic, representing asylum seekers, or reducing food insecurity around the globe, Morgan Lewis is steadfast in support of our communities. Our Pro Bono practice and Community Engagement program work in tandem—often with clients—to make meaningful social impact through the donation of free legal services, strategic charitable giving, enthusiastic volunteerism, and sustainability efforts.

Pro Bono Challenge: Accepted!

We set goals, chart our course, and take action. 2022 marked the fifth consecutive year that every single Morgan Lewis lawyer met—and many far exceeded—our firm’s goal of devoting at least 20 billable hours to pro bono activity.

We represent low-income and marginalized people in many critical areas, including immigration, civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, veterans rights, child advocacy, eviction defense, criminal reform, food insecurity, and access to healthcare and education.

Defending Human Rights

Serving Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Our firm helps refugees and asylum seekers fleeing persecution or violence in their home countries. We provide vital pro bono legal services, often with our commercial clients, including applications for asylum, adjustment-of-status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) applications, green cards, and U and T visas. We help individuals escaping threats and violence because of their speech in support of opposition political leaders or because they revealed government atrocities. We represent those fleeing religious persecution; those who are subject to violence because of their membership in the LGBTQ+ community; and victims of gang violence, rape, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

Our work for the public good.
Total Pro Bono Hours
Over the last 5 years
Pro Bono matters
Over the last 5 years
immigration related pro bono Hours
With over 670 clients for immigration related pro bono work over the last 5 years
LGBTQ+ related pro bono Hours
With over 70 clients for LGBTQ+ related pro bono work over the last 5 years

Responding to the humanitarian crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, we dedicated our 13th annual Community Impact Week in 2022 to advocacy around the global refugee crisis—hosting naturalization clinics, filing humanitarian parole applications and visa documentation, and assembling care packages for sheltering refugees. In these efforts, we have worked alongside nonprofit Lawyers for Good Government, a community of 125,000 lawyers, law students, and activists fighting to ensure equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal justice under the law.

Our efforts in this area have also achieved systemic change. For example, working with the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, we secured a ruling of first impression from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit finding that immigration judges have a legal duty to develop the record for all respondents appearing before them—a significant decision for asylum-seekers who often do not have legal counsel.

We have negotiated major substantive relief for a class of 5,000+ non-citizen translators seeking their statutory right to US citizenship based on their US military service; successfully advocated for an Afghan women’s rights champion and former UN diplomat resulting in a US green card; collaborated with the Brussels NGO community to provide free assistance to displaced individuals seeking refuge in Belgium, and provided immigration advice to a popular Ukrainian singer-songwriter that opened the door for her to perform at the humanitarian Concert for Ukraine fundraiser in London.

Defending & Promoting LGBTQ+ Rights

We are committed to advocating for and protecting the rights of those in the LGBTQ+ community who have experienced persecution. We’ve worked with dozens of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers leaving behind homes, families, and histories in Turkey, Venezuela, Jamaica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and other countries, often in partnership with Immigration Equality.

Our service in this area is well documented, including accomplishing the following on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community:

Giving with Purpose

Recognizing that genuine societal improvements are maximized with the right financial support, we bolster our pro bono practice and community volunteerism with philanthropic giving. Our firm and our people regularly contribute to worthy global causes such as World Central Kitchen, including to combat food insecurity during COVID-19; the United Way during major humanitarian crises resulting from the Afghanistan and Ukraine wars; and the Red Cross for natural disaster assistance, including hurricane and California wildfire relief—donating more than $5 million in the last five years for these causes alone.

  • ML Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) organization, provides $40,000 scholarships to promising low-income law students. We have awarded 82 scholarships totaling nearly $2.5 million since ML Foundation’s inception in 2014.
  • Since 2009, we have invested over $1.2 million to fund 17 two-year Equal Justice Works fellowships for law school graduates to provide vital legal services at 16 nonprofit host organizations.

Discover More

Discover More

Our firm embraces a deep commitment to the public good manifested through the pro bono work of lawyers in every office.

Protecting Our Planet

We make thoughtful choices to reduce our global organization’s environmental impact. Our ML Sustainability Working Group—encompassing 80+ lawyers and staff—advances our firmwide sustainability initiatives by innovating ways to engage in environmentally friendly practices.

Caring for Our Environment in Partnership with Clients

Environmental sustainability is a key component of our pledge to do our part for a better world. As part of that commitment, we have joined in common cause with our clients and industry groups.

Our ESG Sustainability & Advisory practice designs tailored programs for each client’s objectives, including a first-of-its kind deal with multiple school districts to transition to a fully electric school bus fleet, and advising a national retailer on installing EV chargers at strategic locations throughout its 900+ convenience store and gas-fueling locations. We counsel clients developing and deploying new energy technologies and resources as well as clients investing in the energy sector to seize upon innovative business opportunities as the industry moves toward greener generation and satisfaction of ESG targets and goals. We also represent clients engaged in traditional electric power generating projects, refining, and LNG liquefaction and regasification projects.

As an active member of the Stanford Law School Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative, we volunteer free legal services to sustainability-focused entrepreneurs and nonprofits, including committing to services valued at $500,000 over a two-year period for matters related to protecting the environment.

In addition, for years we worked on the EcoBlock Project to develop a city block-scale microgrid in an existing mixed-use California neighborhood, including working with the project's proponents to reform regulatory obstacles that will allow EcoBlock and similar microgrid projects to prove their viability and positive impact in the electric system of tomorrow.

Documents Digitized
Trees Preserved
Gallons of Water
kWh of electricity preserved

ALISS Gold Badge

In 2022-2023, Morgan Lewis earned a Gold Badge from the All Legal Industry Sustainability Standard for our sustainability efforts.

ODP Business Solutions “Greener Purchasing” Award

Morgan Lewis was one of 11 forward-thinking US organizations demonstrating leadership in greener purchasing based on expenditures on products with eco-conscious attributes. Morgan Lewis has been the only law firm to make the list and we have won the award for three consecutive years since 2021.

Energy Star

Discover More

Discover More

ESG and sustainability considerations now impact virtually every facet of our firm’s operations.

Celebrating & Advancing Diversity

Responsible businesses like ours create inclusive environments. We commit to consistently reexamining, listening, and taking action to enhance our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Amplifying Our Robust Lawyer Networks

Our nine lawyer affinity networks—each of which is open to all of our lawyers—help to create a more inclusive firm culture by bringing community and understanding to our entire firm. These networks provide a supportive environment in which members share observations and experiences within their specific community or identity, and have produced deep engagement and thoughtful dialogue. We also recognize that none of us is completely defined by only one aspect of our identity and that understanding and community are critical.

Spotlight on Lawyer Network Programming

In one of dozens of thought-provoking programs celebrating Black History Month, our Black Lawyer Network developed a firmwide program in which our panelists, through research and storytelling, shared insights on how Afrofuturism intersects with the legal world and offers a framework for reimagining a more equitable and joyful future for those in the African diaspora.

Open to all lawyers, our lawyer affinity networks create a more inclusive culture by bringing community and understanding to our entire firm.
Programs Firmwide
Over the last 5 years
Additional Intra-Network Programs
Over the last 5 years

Practicing Allyship

D&I 50 Billable Hour Credit Program

To educate our broader population in learning about and participating in allyship, we encourage all lawyers to spend up to 50 hours of billable time annually on activities that contribute positively to our inclusive culture—including our diversity recruiting efforts, Lawyer Network or Mobilizing for Equality leadership, and partnering with clients on ML Women activities.


Mobilizing for Equality

During the three years since the May 2020 murder of George Floyd at the hands of an on-duty police officer, our lawyers and professional staff have gone all-in to support racial justice through Mobilizing for Equality (MFE), our targeted approach to confronting the intractable global issue of systemic racism. Organized around 12 working groups powered by hundreds of personnel, MFE directly, effectively, and aggressively fights racial injustice.

MFE protected voters’ rights in two battleground states during the 2020 US presidential election, provided guidance on access to capital for minority businesses, and helped pass a police-reform ballot initiative in San Francisco. We have inspired families to have impactful conversations on race through our “Equality Starts at Home Challenge,” promoted awareness through a racial justice–themed book drive, and partnered and volunteered with an organization supporting entrepreneurial training of at-risk high school students.

Our targeted approach to confronting the intractable global issue of systemic racism.
In 2020 alone from both lawyers and professional staff to benefit organizations dedicated to racial justice
Across 12 active MFE working groups
Client Partnerships
Morgan Lewis Impact Fund for Racial Justice: We partnered with the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School on a $250,000 gift aimed at supporting racial justice and anti-racism efforts.

Innovation in Diversity & Inclusion

Citing Mobilizing for Equality, the Financial Times named our firm the winner in the Innovation in Diversity & Inclusion category as part of its Innovative Lawyers North America Report.

Discover More

Discover More

We’re dedicated to D&I not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s integral to how we bring together diverse perspectives to succeed for our clients.

Caring for Well-Being

As an inaugural founding champion of the Institute For Well-Being In Law, an early signatory to the ABA Well-Being Pledge, and an innovator through our internal ML Well initiative, Morgan Lewis early on set a high bar for employee well-being. We respect the whole person and her/his/their roles in and outside of our firm. We give our people tools and support to optimize their professional experience.

Advocating for the Well-Being of our People

Founded using the principles of positive psychology, ML Well is our firm’s unique, holistic approach to well-being grounded in empirical data that “people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.”

Our ML Well platform features leading-edge research, events, and news related to positive psychology, as well as information on our firm's well-being related policies, events, and benefits. Beyond the traditional health and welfare benefits, ML Well includes workshops on the science of addiction and other behavioral health issues.

Supporting Occupational Well-Being

We offer our associates in particular the tools to become accomplished, successful lawyers and support their long-term career goals through one-on-one coaching, mentoring, and formalized training. Our Associate Academies bring together associates from across practices and offices to focus on professional and personal development. Over the last five years, more than 1,800 of our associates have participated—learning about team management; client service and development; and diversity, leadership, and resilience, among other key topics. Relationships matter, and these academies provide an incredible opportunity to build lasting connections with firm leadership, clients, and peers while developing critical skills.

Through our Morgan Lewis Institute, we provide ongoing professional skills training that is specifically tailored to an associate’s level of seniority, including on topics such as legal writing, communication and presentation skills, time management, and well-being.

We also provide customized, substantive training for our associates through ongoing formal programs, mentoring, shadowing, and academies such as our Morgan Lewis Trial Academy during which associates practice “on their feet” skills and sharpen their trial advocacy acumen.

Discover More

Discover More

We take a unique, holistic approach to intellectual, physical, emotional, and occupational well-being.

Our Pledge

The fact is we are all—quite literally—in this together. We must unite to protect our planet, assist those in need, support equality for all, and improve the health of our global society. We at Morgan Lewis recognize our responsibilities and pledge to do our part. We pledge to maintain high standards of stewardship. We pledge to continually advance, evolve, and learn from the lessons of our past. We pledge to listen, and we pledge to act. We invite you to join with us so that we may—together—advance positive change in this interconnected future.