Responsible Business at Morgan Lewis

June 10, 2024

Responsible business—collaboration, community involvement, and a commitment to advancing meaningful social impact—is a foundational pillar of Morgan Lewis. We are proud to join in common cause with clients and community partners to extend our impact through the donation of free legal services, strategic charitable giving, enthusiastic volunteerism, an inclusive culture, and efforts to continually improve sustainability.

Our firm is devoted to the public good through our legal work, advocacy, and philanthropy. This includes the pro bono work of every lawyer in our firm as they serve at-risk populations—from asylum seekers and veterans to members of the LGBTQ+ community—and purposeful giving to organizations assisting those in need or providing humanitarian aid. We nurture a culture of belonging and well-being throughout every practice and every one of our global offices—with a dedication to actionable programs that foster an inclusive workplace where our people can thrive. Our firm’s commitment to responsible business within our organization complements the work we do for clients outside of our walls that are striving to attain their own responsible business goals.

The fact is that we are all in this together. We all must unite to protect our planet, assist those in need, support equality for all, and improve the health of our global society. We invite you to join with us so that we may—together—advance positive change in our world.

Jami McKeon
Chair of the Firm


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Advocating for the Public Good

Through the pro bono efforts of lawyers in every one of our global offices, we bring the same passion and empathy to matters impacting individuals as we do to litigation driving large-scale societal change. We also work on behalf of nonprofits and low-income entrepreneurs striving to better the lives of those in their communities.

Pro Bono Challenge: Accepted!

We take great pride in sourcing meaningful opportunities to help low-income and marginalized people in critical areas including immigration; civil rights; LGBTQ+ and veteran rights; child advocacy; eviction defense; criminal justice; and access to benefits and education. 2023 marked the sixth consecutive year that every single eligible Morgan Lewis lawyer met—and many far exceeded—our firm’s goal of devoting at least 20 billable hours to pro bono activity.

Community Impact Week

2023 also marked our 14th annual Community Impact Week. In addition to numerous community service efforts, our lawyers across offices dedicated free legal services to more than 50 pro bono clients in a series of projects with community organizations.

Protecting the Protectors

Our firm has long supported military veterans, and our pro bono tradition allows many of our lawyers who are veterans to serve their brothers and sisters in service.

We won a pro bono class action on behalf of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who were discharged for PTSD but who were short-changed on retirement benefits—securing corrective relief for the entire class of 2,176 veterans. When the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a fee award in our favor, we funded three Equal Justice Works fellowships aimed at providing legal services to low-income veterans.

We used that same playbook to represent servicemembers in three federal class actions challenging the denial of citizenship for thousands of Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) enlistees who had been promised a path to US citizenship in exchange for their vital language or medical skills. Our efforts allowed more than 2,000 noncitizen soldiers to seek—and most to obtain—naturalization. To help these soldiers on their rightful path to citizenship, we also established the Morgan Lewis Military Immigration Fellowship—a two-year, full-time legal fellowship with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council. As a result, 60 MAVNIs have already been assisted with the naturalization process.

Another Morgan Lewis team of veterans secured a reversal from the Army Board for Corrections of Military Records (ABCMR) to clear the name of a Black soldier whose murder in 1941 by a white police officer was wrongfully classified as not being in the line of duty. ABCMR reinstated that Private Albert King died in the line of duty, enabling our team—along with Northeastern University School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project—to work with his closest relative to erect a headstone at his gravesite near Fort Moore and provide a full military honors ceremony.

Additionally, members of our Veterans Lawyer Network partnered with our client Comcast and the National Veterans Legal Services Program to host a veteran discharge upgrade clinic where volunteers reviewed records and walked through a series of questions to help veterans determine their eligibility to apply for a military discharge upgrade or other potential benefits.

We represented National Veterans Legal Service Program (NVLSP) since 2020 in preparing amicus briefs concerning veterans’ ability to obtain favorable educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In April 2024, the US Supreme Court voted 7-2 in the veterans’ favor.

Supporting Survivors

Our firm has a long history of helping survivors of domestic abuse to obtain non-molestation orders against their abusers and secure other essential legal services. Our ongoing relationship with the UK National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) has enabled our team to devote over 3,000 pro bono hours to more than 140 NCDV cases. In one instance, this gave our client protection from physical violence and verbal and emotional abuse from a family member, which had reached an apex at the height of COVID-19 lockdown measures that had left her trapped with her abuser.

Defending & Promoting LGBTQ+ Rights

We advocate to protect and advance the rights of those in the LGBTQ+ community across all of our practices, seeking to serve the diverse needs of our clients. Our work in this space includes LGBTQ+ advocacy involving immigration, marriage equality, healthcare, military service, name change, and prisoners’ rights.

In one recent example, our firm advised the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund in a merger with the National Center for Transgender Equality—combining resources into one entity called Advocates for Trans Equality (A4TE) that will help guide the movement for trans rights.

We are actively litigating state medical bans against gender-affirming treatment for minors in multiple jurisdictions. We filed an amicus brief in the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on behalf of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights in a case challenging the Arkansas transgender minor medical ban. We are also challenging a Kentucky law that bans providers from using puberty blockers and hormone therapy for anyone under 18 even if the transgender adolescent, their parents, and their doctor all agree that the treatment is vital.

In partnership with the legal department of a prominent online marketplace, our volunteers conducted a legal name and gender marker change clinic assisting transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals—who regularly face accessibility barriers because their identity documents incorrectly identify them—with their petitions to update their records to reflect their authentic identities.

We’re also proud to have worked to protect those who have experienced persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including individuals from Turkey, Venezuela, Jamaica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and other countries—often in partnership with Immigration Equality.

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
722 matters for immigration-related pro bono clients over the last 5 years
LGBTQ+ related pro bono Hours
99 matters for LGBTQ+ related pro bono clients over the last 5 years
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Our firm embraces a deep commitment to the public good manifested through the pro bono work of lawyers in every office.

Giving with Purpose & Action

We bolster our pro bono efforts with philanthropic giving and community volunteerism to benefit the most vulnerable members of our society. Our firm and our people regularly contribute generously to worthy global causes such as World Central Kitchen to provide meals in response to crises; the United Way during major humanitarian emergencies; and the Red Cross for natural disaster assistance—donating more than $5 million in the last five years for these causes alone.

We believe that volunteerism is essential in supporting our communities and making a measurable difference in society. Leading by example is not just lip service—whether we are serving in a food bank, ensuring voting rights are upheld, or putting together care packages—it is our responsibility to be civically engaged.

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Morgan Lewis ignites action and our passion for giving through a broad range of charitable and volunteerism efforts to uplift our communities.
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. We also engage with global organizations to promote sustainability.

World Cleanup Day

World Cleanup Day has united more than 71 million volunteers in 197 countries to raise awareness about the waste crisis and collaborate for a cleaner planet. Our firm launched a firmwide Recycling Task Force to further advance our commitment to sustainability by refining our waste management protocols, reducing our use of plastics in favor of reusable and environmentally friendly products, and educating our community on the importance of recycling.

World Wetlands Day

Our wetlands play a huge role in biodiversity, climate, and water supply. To show their investment, our London office has partnered with The Conservation Volunteers, a UK charity that brings people together to create, improve, and care for green spaces with the goal of healthier, happier communities. The team most recently cleared a substantial number of reeds, which were then used to build habitats for insects and wildlife at the Lavender Pond Nature Reserve.


Our ML Sustainability Working Group partnered with Soles4Souls to host a shoe drive in our US and European offices. Soles4Souls turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity by putting them to good use—providing relief, creating jobs, and protecting the environment. Through our collective effort, our offices donated more than 1,700 pairs of shoes—keeping them out of landfills and giving them a second life.

A Sustainable & State-of-the-Art New Philadelphia Office

Morgan Lewis in 2024 moved into an ultra-modern building at 2222 Market Street driven by sustainability and wellness—with third-party certifications such as LEED Gold Target Base Building Certification as well as Fitwel 1 Star Target Base and Target Tenant Certifications—and “breathe easy” features such as MERV 8 filtration, bipolar ionization, and increased fresh air intake and air changes. A range of features were implemented to support sustainability, health, and wellness, from amenities to mechanical design, to ergonomic furniture.

Documents Digitized
Trees Preserved
Gallons of Water
kWh of electricity preserved
Energy Star
Legal Sustainability Alliance

Partnering with Our Clients

Responding to the demand for leadership in an increasingly complex environmental, social, and governance (ESG) market, Morgan Lewis’s ESG & Sustainability Advisory Practice is handling more than 2,700 ESG-related matters, advising clients on the opportunities and risks associated with implementing ESG strategies.

Our DEI Task Force is advising more than 100 clients on how to pursue diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) objectives in the face of new legal challenges. We hosted three half-day DEI Summits in our New York, Chicago, and Silicon Valley offices, where client attendees from leading companies across industries discussed DEI strategies and ESG matters, including strategies following the US Supreme Court decision impacting affirmative action and related cases impacting DEI efforts.

We help companies that remain committed to ESG to face global headwinds. Continued regulation and disclosure requirements for companies that have made net-zero or emission-reducing statements have caused more companies to withdraw from climate advocacy organizations, explore the burgeoning carbon credits/offsets marketplace, and defend greenwashing and class action lawsuits. Our Decarbonization Working Group helps companies achieve and defend their decarbonization goals and meet new disclosure requirements—and has developed a visual roadmap of some of the ways we are doing so.

New global reporting regulations have created a web of evolving and overlapping requirements for multinational companies. We assist employers around the world in evaluating workplace health and safety programs, policies, and procedures to address employee safety–related laws and regulations. Our ESG Global Working Group created a five-part webinar series on the latest regulatory developments in the US, UK, EU, Middle East, Africa, and APAC regions that affect the investment and financial services industry. In the US, our ESG State Legislation Tracker provides monthly updates to the US state laws encouraging or restricting the use of ESG factors in investments.

We are seeing more companies invest in climate-focused, renewable energy or similar funds. This work includes cutting-edge “blue bond” investment structures designed to have a positive impact on the environment, and multibillion-dollar climate infrastructure deals that invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and vehicle electrification.

Striving Together For Positive Impact

Click on each panel to view more of our ESG work for clients including pro bono assistance, advocacy, and forging climate-focused deals to help our clients make maximum positive impact.

Sustainable Finance Deal
Represented Bank of America in a $500 million “blue bond” offering for refinancing sovereign debt of the Republic of Gabon and generating funds for biodiversity protection and nature-based resilience—earning us short-list recognition at The Legal 500 ESG UK Awards as Best Law Firm Advisory Team: Sustainable Finance.
Challenging Anti-ESG Rules
Represented SIFMA in challenging a Missouri ESG disclosure rule barring broker-dealers or investment advisers from incorporating a social objective or other nonfinancial objective into investment advice without obtaining formal written consent from the customer.
Creating Access to Climate Solutions
Represented Afterglow Climate Justice Fund, which seeks to expand access to affordable clean energy solutions, jobs, and new projects in low-income communities.
Volunteering Free Services for a Sustainable Economy
Volunteer free legal services as an active member of the Stanford Law School Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative to sustainability-focused entrepreneurs and nonprofits, including committing to services valued at $500,000 over a two-year period for environmental protection matters.
Helping Our Clients Maximize Impact Funding
Advised Eka Ventures in launching a fund investing in impactful companies—aiming to maximize positive impact on people and planet with every investment.
Positively Impacting Africa
Represented Spark+ Fund including a $4 million investment in BURN to accelerate its multi-country expansion across Africa, $3.5 million in carbon finance to TASC for 90,000 cookstoves in Zambia, and a $2 million loan to Jibu.
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Celebrating & Advancing Diversity

Uplift. Include. Empower. A culture of belonging is woven into all we do, serving as a pillar of our operations. We commit to consistently reexamining, listening, and taking action to enhance our DEI efforts to benefit all across our global organization. To encourage our broader population to participate in allyship, we enable our lawyers to devote up to 50 billable hours annually to contribute to our DEI culture—including recruiting efforts to hire lawyers with diverse perspectives and backgrounds, Lawyer Network or Mobilizing for Equality leadership, and ML Women client partnership activities.

Engage Globally, Act Locally

Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee encompasses Diversity Liaisons, partners who serve as representatives from each of our firm’s practices. The committee is responsible for developing best practices to promote diversity and inclusion throughout our firm and, through its members, implementing those best practices. Our D&I liaisons also coordinate directly with local office D&I working groups to take action across our local offices.

Amplifying Within

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 to share observations and experiences within a given community and other individuals who share an interest in a community and have produced deep engagement and meaningful dialogue. We recognize that none of us is completely defined by only one aspect of our identity and that understanding and community are critical.

Spotlight on Programming

Women’s History Month: Women, Life & Liberty

Our Middle Eastern North African Lawyer Network hosted a firmwide program where our panelists reflected on women’s rights in Iran amid the protests following the death of Mahsa Amini. The panel featured Gissou Nia, human rights attorney and director of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Litigation Project, and Dr. Foojan Zeine, clinical psychologist and developer of Awareness Integration Theory.

UK Black History Month: The Empire Windrush—Its Legacy & Impact

Our London D&I Working Group delivered a fireside chat—featuring a discussion with lawyer, author, and public speaker Pauline Campbell and multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker Sandi Hudson Francis—to learn more about the first Caribbean immigrants to the UK who helped rebuild Britain after World War II.

US Black History Month: Impact of US Supreme Court Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions

Our Black Lawyer Network hosted an event delving into the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn race-conscious college admissions, which focused on how the landmark ruling might reshape the college and law school admission landscape and how to engage with alma maters and champion community pipeline initiatives to mitigate adverse effects.

Sign Language Awareness Workshop

Our Paris D&I Working Group invited the office to participate in a sign language workshop series hosted by Les Mains Mélodies—an organization that trains parents of deaf children in French Sign Language. The workshop included a presentation on the different disabilities that sign language can benefit and an initiation to sign language.

Partnering With Clients To Advance Well-Being

Morgan Lewis discussed outside counsel engagement guidelines as part of the Client-Driven Culture Change: A New Frontier in the Well-Being Movement panel during the 2024 Well-Being in Law Conference hosted by the Institute for Well-Being In Law. The event centered on the Mindful Business Charter and the collaborative efforts of US Bank and seven roundtable law firms, including Morgan Lewis, to create outside counsel engagement guidelines to help clients and their outside counsel interact with well-being in mind.

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

Mobilizing for Equality

In the 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 global issue of racism. Organized around 12 working groups powered by hundreds of personnel, MFE directly, effectively, and aggressively fights racial injustice.

Empowering Change Through Literacy

One critical area of need that resonates everywhere is supporting literacy. In MFE’s pursuit to nurture children’s literacy as a foundational component of racial justice, we organized a firmwide book drive and fundraiser across our global offices to benefit 20 global organizations helping students through literacy and educational programs.

Our firm also partners with organizations advancing access to mentors for underserved students. We have a decades-long relationship with Read Ahead to help students unlock their potential through mentoring based on a love of reading. Our London office is proud to work with Bookmark—a tech-led literacy charity supporting underserved primary school children. To recognize International Book Giving Day, our London office gathered and donated new and gently used books for babies, children, and young people up to 14 years old. In Philadelphia, we are an active supporter of Achieve Now where firm volunteers serve as one-on-one reading coaches for first- and second-grade students who meet weekly to improve foundational literacy.

Our targeted approach to confronting the intractable global issue of systemic racism.
Across 12 active MFE working groups
Active MFE Working Groups with 50+ Working Group Leaders
Client Partnerships
Global Non-Profit Organization Partnerships
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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. In short, 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."

More broadly, we offer our associates 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 1,600 of our associates have participated—learning about team management; client service and development; and diversity, leadership, and resilience. Relationships matter, and these academies provide an 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 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.

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