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Community

lending a hand

Service enriches us all.

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.  

Access to Justice Commission - The Commission has been established by the Delaware Supreme Court to undertake the task of examining the justice system to identify any barriers to access to justice that may exist, and to develop recommendations designed to improve access to justice for the citizens of Delaware. Lewis H. Lazarus Co-Chairs the Access to Justice Commission.

Office of the Child Advocate - A significant number of 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. 

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, the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc., and the Combined Campaign for Justice. Eric Monzo was selected as General Chair for the upcoming year, and Robert Gibbs will serve as the Sussex County Chair.

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. Jill Spevack Di Sciullo currently serves on the Board of Directors.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast and Statewide Day of Service - Morris James is an annual sponsor of this DSBA event.

Community Healthcare

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.

Civic Support

Morris James is integrally involved in non-profit and community organizations that assist children and families, the elderly, and the arts in Delaware.

Food Bank of Delaware - All funds raised through our employee matching program go towards supporting the Food Bank and alleviating hunger in our community. The Food Bank of Delaware is a proud member of Feeding America, and has been providing food assistance for Delawareans for over 30 years. 

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.  Partner K. Tyler O'Connell chairs the Board of Trustees and Partner Michael G. Owen is a Member of the Wilmington Unit Board.

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 serve on the agency's Board of Directors.

Delaware Business Roundtable - Kim Hoffman serves on the Roundtable's Executive Committee along with 10 other Delaware business leaders who are tasked with steering the Roundtable forward in its mission to enhance the quality of life in Delaware by promoting commerce, job creation and select public policy issues. In recent years, the Roundtable has been a leading supporter of public education transformation and entrepreneurs in Delaware.

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.  Partner Albert Manwaring (Chair) serves on the Board of Directors.  Former board members include Partner Susan Ament (Retired Chair) and Morris James Marketing Coordinator Cathy Rossi. 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 that 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.

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.

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