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 co-chair its Access to Justice Commission.
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, the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc., and the 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. Jill Spevack Di Sciullo currently serves on the Board of Directors.
Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. - CLASI provides free legal services to qualifying individuals, and is committed to racial and ethnic fairness in the delivery of services. CLASI offices are located in Wilmington, Dover, and Georgetown. Reneta Green-Streett is past president of the Board of Directors.
National High School Mock Trial - Initiated in 1984, The National Mock Trial Championship promoties an understanding and appreciation of the American judicial system through academic competitions and other endeavors for students. Pete Jones serves on the Board of Directors, Chair Rules Committee, Former Chair. Kevin Healy has served as a coach from 2006 to present.
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.
SL2 UnLocke The Light - Kevin Healy is a Board Member of the UnLocke the Light Foundation. UnLocke the Light is dedicated to unlocking the students' light by providing resources for those struggling with depression, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts.
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 the current President of the Greater Wilmington Boys and Girls Clubs. Michael also was part of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, along with attorney Bryan Townsend.
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.
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. Partner Albert Manwaring (Chair) and Partner Charles Toliver, serve 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
Bench and Bar First State Distinguished Service Award - Pete Jones was honored with the First State Distinguished Service Award in June 2019. This most prestigious award recognizes exemplary leadership and service to the legal profession and community at large. Pete’s commitment to our profession and the greater community has made a positive difference for many years.
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.