Here the people of Morgan Lewis share their stories, reflect on their histories, and embody the firm’s commitment to inclusion, innovation, collaboration, engagement, and well-being. While we celebrate what makes us unique, there is one thing that unites us all: We Are Morgan Lewis.
In a candid Q&A, Grace Speights shares how she was able to beat the odds of her South Philly neighborhood because people were willing to fight for her. First, her mother, who taught her the power of hard work, and then her mentors, who were willing to risk their reputations to see her succeed. Grace is leading the firm’s support in the fight for racial justice, and shares that now is the time to have “courageous conversations” about how to do things better.
All around Morgan Lewis, our people are helping people. They are sharing kindness and laughter. They are raising spirits and money for those in need. They are reminding us of what’s right in the world, when so much seems wrong. Here are just a few of those stories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Especially in times when we feel disconnected, it’s important to focus on the things that bring us together. At Morgan Lewis, that includes a culture of inclusivity and equality. Men and women from around the globe demonstrated their personal commitment to upholding this culture as part of the International Women’s Day and US Women’s History Month 2020 photo challenge. #EachforEqual
A culture of collaboration is more than a tagline for us. It’s weaved into the very fabric of the firm. So much so, that every year, trainees from our London office travel to another one of our international offices to get a better sense of the local customs clients embrace in those regions, how the firm is able to operate on a global scale, and the importance of networking with our people in those locations. Here Benjamin Davies, Emily Davies, Gabrielle Martin, and George Taylor share what those experiences meant to them.
At Morgan Lewis, we know the pursuit of a truly diverse and inclusive organization is as much about the journey as it is the destination. That’s where people like Jennifer Carriòn, diversity recruiting manager, play a key role in setting the firm on the right path. Here, she talks about what prepared her for this role and what equality really means to her.
No matter the time zone or the language, the 10, 9, 8… countdown to “Happy New Year!” is an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s ending, the hopes for the next one, and the excitement in that shared moment of celebration. As we wrap up 2019, we’ve created a countdown of our own, highlighting moments throughout the year—from all over the world—that brought us together, spread joy, and illustrated what is important to us as a firm and as a family. From all of us, to all of you, Happy New Year!