Morris James believes that promoting diversity, inclusion, and work/life balance is critical to our quest for excellence and our ability to understand and meet our clients’ expectations. Our culture fosters an open and welcoming environment that not only encourages, but also expects, contributions from people with diverse views, experiences, and backgrounds.
Charles H. Toliver, IV chairs our diversity committee. Comprised of both partners and associates, the committee vigorously seeks to recruit and promote outstanding attorneys, paralegals, and staff who are underrepresented in the legal profession. To further its effectiveness and increase our firm’s diversity efforts, committee members also hold leadership positions in outside professional and community groups dedicated to enhancing diversity.
National & Local Diversity
CAMP Rehoboth - This gay and lesbian community service organization was developed to “Create A More Positive” relationship among all the people of Sussex County, Delaware. Morris James supports their monthly newsletter and the Firm's Tax, Estates and Business Practice sponsors their annual Sundance weekend which benefits CAMP Rehoboth's Community Center.
Delaware Minority Job Fair – As part of an effort to recruit talented students and increase diversity in the Bar, law firms, corporations, and governmental legal employers participate in this annual job fair.
Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professionals - The MWUL Young Professionals serve as a bridging connection to emerging generations, essential to the National Urban League’s ability to influence and support the next generation. Its mission is to promote the professional development of the individual members and to promote community service. Andrew B. Wilson is an active member of this association.
The ALLEI Program - Morris James frequently hosts foreign judges, lawyers, and law students while they are studying at the American Law and Legal English Institute at the University of Delaware. While we take the opportunity to respond to their questions regarding the American legal system during these visits, at the same time we always learn much about the how the law operates in a variety of countries - Brazil, Colombia, Japan, China, Korea, the Ukraine, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, to name just a few. This exchange is quite beneficial for both Morris James and our visitors as our practices increasingly expand beyond our own borders.
The Links, Incorporated - This international, non-profit service organization consists 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. Patricia A. Winston is an officer of the Wilmington, Delaware chapter.
Legal Community Diversity
Delaware Minority Supplemental Bar Review Course – Our firm has provided years of leadership to this program and continues to mentor students. The program helps prepare diverse applicants for success on the difficult Delaware Bar examination. Wilson A. Gualpa currently leads the Bar course.
Delaware State Bar Association
- LGBT Section - This Bar section addresses issues that are of importance to attorneys with an interest in legal issues relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) people. Thomas P. Carney is the current Vice Chair and the firm is an annual sponsor of the LGBT Summer Reception.
- Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section - Our firm offers ongoing program sponsorships and support to this Bar section including sponsorship of the Haile L. Alford Memorial Breakfast held annually in recognition of the late Judge Alford. Patricia A. Winston serves as Secretary and Wilson A. Gualpa is the current Vice Chair of this Bar section. Charles H. Toliver, IV is an active member and recipient of their Leadership Award for his ongoing contributions to promote diversity in the bar.
- Women and the Law Section - This Bar section addresses the delivery of legal services to women and supports the role of women in the Delaware legal community. Patricia A. Winston and Brenna A. Dolphin are active members.
Hispanic National Bar Association - As a member of this organization that represents the interests of Hispanic legal professionals in the United States, we support their commitment to advocacy on issues of importance to the 54+ million people of Hispanic heritage living in the U.S. Both Wilson A. Gualpa and Laura G. Readinger are active members and Laura is a regional deputy of Region IV (Delaware and Pennsylvania).
Minority Corporate Counsel Association - An advocate for the expanded hiring, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys in corporate law departments and the law firms that serve them.
Minority Law Journal - Since 1996, the Minority Law Journal has provided a forum for the exchange of ideas on the application of diversity in the legal workplace.
Street Law Inc. Program - Morris James regularly hires student clerks from Howard High School in Wilmington. The program began as a practical law curriculum project designed by Georgetown University law students. Street Law, Inc. has grown into a national and international organization providing high school students the opportunity to work in legal services and learn about the day-to-day activities of practicing lawyers.
Widener University Delaware Law School Diversity Summer Camp Program - Morris James sponsors the Delaware Law School JURIST Academy. This scholastic summer camp strives to increase the participation of minority groups in law school. Rising college-age seniors are introduced to the legal profession and experience the dynamics of a law school classroom. Students also learn the critical thinking and analytical skills used by successful law students. Lewis H. Lazarus and Patricia A. Winston have volunteered as speakers and guest professors at this Academy.
Additional Diversity Sponsorships and Memberships
- Delaware Community Foundation Fund for Women
- Delaware Hispanic Bar Association
Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and Legal Education Fund
- Insolvency Women’s Network
- Latin American Community Center
National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
National Bar Association (NBA)
The Delaware Barristers Association
- Women in Business Upstate and Downstate Luncheons