Atlanta (November 2019) – The State Bar of Georgia's Access to Justice Committee has selected Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP to receive 2019’s “A Business Commitment Pro Bono Business Law Award” for the extensive pro bono legal services the firm provides to the nonprofit community.
The award honors the pro bono contributions of an individual lawyer, corporate legal department or law firm to the nonprofit community and community economic development sector in Georgia. The award will be presented at the State Bar of Georgia’s Pro Bono Awards reception on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at the Glenn Hotel Sky Lounge.
The Pro Bono Initiative is part of MMMPact, the firm’s corporate social responsibility outreach. In a letter to MMM’s Pro Bono chair Jeff Douglass announcing the award, the State Bar wrote “The Access to Justice Committee and the Pro Bono Resource Center of the State Bar recognize you for your extensive business law services to the nonprofit community in Georgia. You have provided a fine example of professionalism and a model for the delivery of pro bono business law services.”
“Giving back is a critical part of our firm’s culture,” said Managing Partner Simon Malko. “We are extremely grateful to the Bar both for its efforts to encourage pro bono services and for this considerable honor.”
In 2018, the firm donated more than approximately 1,600 pro bono hours valued at nearly $700,000. In the first 10 months of 2019, the volunteers have already exceeded that.
“More than 100 volunteers have donated nearly 1,900 hours already this year to help dozens of nonprofit organizations,” Douglass said. “Our volunteers’ time and effort – valued at almost $800,000 – is what made this honor possible. We are also grateful for the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and its Executive Director Rachel Spears, who helped connect many of our volunteers with the nonprofits,” he added.
As part of the nomination process for the award, MMM cited examples of four Georgia nonprofit organizations for which it provided pro bono legal services:
Open Doors Atlanta – RentPath. Open Doors Atlanta helps place homeless individuals into permanent housing. The first 5,000 people Open Doors placed were matched to their homes through a manual, labor-intensive process. To improve the speed and efficiency of placing homeless individuals in new homes, MMMnegotiated and drafted a software license agreement with RentPath. It allowed Open Doors’ matching process to be handled through an automated system and to limit any potential risks associated with Open Doors’ use of the software license. MMM also assisted Open Doors Atlanta with the closing of a $500,000 revolving line of credit from Northern Trust Company.
Interfaith Outreach Home. This organization empowers hardworking, homeless families by providing them safe and affordable housing and support services to help achieve self-sufficiency. IOH currently leases a residential building on Buford Highway in Atlanta that provides stable, family-friendly housing. For more than a year, MMM has represented IOH in negotiating a purchase agreement to acquire the building, as well as an additional building and vacant land. MMM also worked with major donors to raise funds to acquire the property. The acquisition will allow IOH to make improvements to the property, construct additional residential units, and build an overall “campus” to expand the number of families it will be able to assist.
BLINK, Inc. Blink, Inc. and The Blink Foundation are the brainchild of an intern from MMM’s High School Internship Program. Blink, Inc. was organized as a nonprofit entity to mentor and educate young artists and activists and provide an artistic and political platform for them. The Blink Foundation was organized to provide scholarship funds for the young artists and activists. MMM drafted the articles of incorporation and bylaws for the entities, incorporated both entities in the state of Georgia, and obtained 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status for the organizations.
Phoenix Women Empowered. PWE is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that empowers young women to find their voice and assist in helping them pursue their goals. MMM assisted Phoenix Women Empowered in the formation of an entity, its bylaws, and other general corporate requirements, as well as obtain its federal tax-exempt status. Because of PWE’s relatively small size and modest initial growth aspirations, the firm worked with PWE to obtain its federal tax-exemption in a cost-efficient manner.
About Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
Morris, Manning & Martin (www.mmmlaw.com) is an Am Law 200 law firm with national and international reach. We dedicate ourselves to the constant pursuit of our clients’ success. To provide our clients with optimal value, we combine market-leading legal services with a total understanding of their needs to maximize effectiveness, efficiency and opportunity. MMM enjoys national prominence for its real estate, corporate, litigation, technology, healthcare, intellectual property, energy & infrastructure, capital markets, environmental, international trade, and insurance practices. MMM has offices in and around Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Savannah and Washington, D.C.
Media Contact for MMM: Terri Thornton, (404) 932-4347, [email protected]