Morris James is known across Delaware for community advocacy, as the many awards we have received from civic, charitable and community groups can attest. Giving of our time, talents and energy is a value and a mandate infused into our culture from our founding over 85 years ago.
The firm encourages and actively supports the participation of our attorneys and staff in all manner of professional, charitable and community endeavors that strive to improve lives and address the needs of the under served. Such service, we believe, enriches us all. Briefly described below are examples of some of the ways in which Morris James applies its knowledge and energy to work for the greater good of our communities.
Helping The Community
Our attorneys devote innumerable hours assisting low-income clients with their legal needs, and serving in leadership roles with agencies dedicated to legal advocacy and help for the poor. In the last year, twenty-five of our attorneys and nine paralegals provided pro bono legal services.
Wilmington Leaders Alliance - Morris James is a founding member of the WLA whose mission is to help shape the future of Wilmington by concentrating on four core areas: Economic Development, Leadership, Education and Safety.
Access to Justice Commission - The Delaware Supreme Court appointed Partner Lewis H. Lazarus to serve on the Access to Justice Commission and to chair its subcommittee on Judicial Branch Coordination In Helping Pro Se Litigants. Partner Jason C. Jowers was also appointed as a member of this subcommittee.
Office of the Child Advocate - Fourteen Morris James attorneys volunteer their time by providing legal representation for dependent, neglected, and abused children in civil Family Court proceedings and engaging in legislative advocacy for this agency charged with safeguarding the welfare of Delaware’s children. The Office of the Child Advocate has awarded its Service To Children Award to Morris James for their dedication and support. More than eleven of our attorneys have over 5 years of service and six attorneys have over 10 years of service.
Combined Campaign for Justice - Morris James gives financial support to agencies that provide legal services to the poor, including donations to the Delaware State Bar Association Combined Campaign for Justice.
Delaware Volunteer Legal Services – Morris James attorneys and staff spend hundreds of hours each year assisting low income clients with problems in a variety of areas. Partner Mary M. Culley currently serves on the Board of Directors.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - This active nonprofit group raises money and awareness for the treatment of people with mental illness. Partner Edward M. McNally serves as president of the Delaware Chapter. A team of Morris James employees raises money each year in the Delaware National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-DE) Walk. This staff-run effort contributes moneys to fund over 250 people in 60 group homes around the state.
American Heart Association - Morris James is proud to be an annual sponsor of the Wilmington Heart Ball and the Southern Delaware Heart Ball – two Delaware events that celebrate the American Heart Association’s work and mission.
Morris James is integrally involved in non-profit and community organizations that assist children and families, the elderly, and the arts in Delaware.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware, Inc. - The organization is dedicated to providing good futures for Delaware youth through life-enhancing programs and character developing experiences. Partner Lewis H. Lazarus is a long-time member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Children and Families First - This non-profit agency offers programs statewide to strengthen families. Partner P. Clarkson Collins, Jr. has served on the Board of Directors since 1980. He served as President and Chair from 1992-1994. Veronica Faust and Eric Monzo also service on the agency's Board of Directors.
Children's Beach House/Sandcastle Ball - We are long-time supporters of this non-profit organization that strives to help children with special needs reach their highest potential as functioning members of their families and communities.
Delaware Photographic Society Endowment - Morris James established an endowment to support the Delaware Photographic Society, the oldest camera club in the USA. The focus of the endowment is to encourage and develop interest in photography through the annual Morris James Photographic Competition Award that goes to the first place finisher of its annual print and projected image competition.
Sojourners' Place - Morris James has a number of volunteers that support their mission to provide shelter and an array of individualized services for homeless men and women. Attorneys Charles Toliver, Albert Manwaring, Susan Ament and staff member Cathy Rossi serve on the Board of Directors. Other staff members volunteer their time on a monthly basis.
The Links, Incorporated - Partner Patricia A. Winston is an officer of the Wilmington, Delaware chapter of this international, non-profit service organization consisting of nearly 14,000 professional women of color. The Chapter has spent over sixty-five years providing services to enhance the quality of life for residents in the Wilmington community.
Awards & Recognitions
Access to Justice Awards - Morris James LLP received the Christopher W. White 2015 Distinguished Access to Justice Awards in 2015. This award is given to the firm who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of pro bono service to the impoverished in Delaware, and who fosters a culture which recognizes the value of Access to Justice service.
Service to Children Award - The Office of the Child Advocate recognized Morris James' "outstanding commitment to, and work for, children in the provision of legal or community services" by presenting them with the Service To Children Award at the Delaware State Bar Association Awards
Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section Leadership Award - The Delaware State Bar Association honored partner Charles H. Toliver, IV with this award for his contributions to the legal community.
Delaware Volunteer Legal Services - Fourteen Morris James attorneys are dedicated volunteers, five of whom performed over five years of pro bono service, and six who performed over ten years of pro bono service serving as attorneys ad litem on behalf of neglected and abused children.
Sojourners' Place "Window of Opportunity" Award - Sojourners' Place honored the numerous volunteers and supporters at Morris James with their highest award in 2017.
American Diabetes Association Trophy – The Morris James Family and Friends Team was awarded the trophy for being the top corporate fundraising team for the 2012 American Diabetes Association’s “Step Out Walk To Stop Diabetes."
Thompson Brown Award - Children and Families First awarded long-time supporter, P. Clarkson Collins, Jr. in 2008 for his efforts to strengthen and advocate for Delaware's families.
The Delaware State Bar Association Service to Children Award – In 2008, the Delaware State Bar Association presented this prestigious award to Morris James in recognition of the countless hours of pro bono representation our attorneys have provided to indigent children in Delaware.
Caleb R. Layton Distinguished Service Award - The Delaware District Court presented this award to Edward M. McNally in 2007 for his volunteer representation of indigent clients in federal court proceedings.
Kevin Free Award – Read-Aloud Delaware awarded Lewis H. Lazarus its highest honor for service to the organization, which acts to ensure that every Delaware preschooler is regularly read to one on one by a caring adult.
Morris James has been consistently recognized as a top workplace in Delaware for nine consecutive years.
In 2017, Morris James LLP received the Window of Opportunity Award from Sojourners' Place for outstanding voluntary service.
The Morris James Family and Friends Team was awarded the trophy for being the top corporate fundraising team for the 2012 American Diabetes Association’s “Step Out Walk To Stop Diabetes."
NAMI Award - a statewide organization of families, mental health consumers, friends, and professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life for those affected by life-changing brain diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, and major depression.
Children & Families First serves over 30,000 children and families each year. A dedicated team of staff and volunteers deliver more than 30 comprehensive social service programs throughout Delaware. Their services are child-centered and family-focused, forming a comprehensive continuum of quality social, educational and mental health services.
The American Heart Association is a non-profit organization that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke.