Social Responsibility & Diversity
Social Responsibility at Murtha Cullina
We believe that being responsible citizens of the world requires us to support the communities in which we work and live in meaningful ways, ones that support and improve the well-being of people of all walks of life. We understand that social responsibility encompasses not merely money and goods donated, but our contribution of time, resources and expertise to community service, diversity and inclusion initiatives, pro bono work, sustainability and renewable energy. Our actions benefit our connected world today and for future generations.
Leading the Way
Our history of social responsibility activism starts at home.
We are one of the very few law firms anywhere to have not one, but two successive female managing partners, Elizabeth J. Stewart (2009-2014) and Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, who is currently serving. Both Elizabeth and Jennifer have also served as past Chairs of the Litigation Department.
Similarly, the Firm was one of the first in Connecticut to subscribe to the Connecticut Association’s Pledge of Gender Equity. We are a founding member of the Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities (CABO), the State’s first and only Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Chamber of Commerce.
Serving our Communities
Murtha Cullina participates in the following legal, civic and philanthropic institutions:
- Anti-Defamation League
- Boston Bar Foundation
- Boston Chamber of Commerce
- Community Foundation of Greater New Haven
- Connecticut Farmland Trust
- Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
- Greater Boston Legal Services
- Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation
- Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Lowell Community Fund
- Hartford County Bar Foundation
- Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation
- Leadership Fairfield County
- Leadership Greater Hartford
- Leadership Greater New Haven
- New Haven Legal Assistance
- New Haven County Bar Foundation
Many of our lawyers participate on boards involved with charitable works, cultural institutions, social and community services, sustainability and renewable energy and historic preservation, pro bono legal services, renewable energy, child care services, and healthcare institutions, including:
- American Heart Association
- Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame
- Dress for Success
- Easter Seals Goodwill Industries
- Friends of New Haven Legal Assistance
- Hartford Symphony Orchestra
- Junior Achievement
- Lawyers for Children America
- Ruby Slipper Cancer Foundation for Children
- Planned Parenthood Votes!
- Saugatuck Child Care Services
- South Shore Hospital
- United Way
- Yanci Fund
Additionally, our lawyers and staff support in numerous charitable organizations throughout the year, including:
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- Boys and Girls Village
- Center for Children’s Advocacy
- Friends of Hospice Care (Woburn, MA)
- Hands of Hartford’s MANNA Community Meals
- Inspirica (Stamford, CT)
- Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- New England Center for Children
- Operation Hope
- Operation Smile
- reSET (Social Enterprise Trust)
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- The May Center (Boston, MA)
- The Mercy House (Hartford, CT)
Murtha Cullina Scholarship Funds
More than 15 years, ago Murtha Cullina made the decision to turn the tradition of holiday giving into scholarship funds benefiting inner city children. In Connecticut, scholarship funds were set up at The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The income of the fund is to be distributed annually to support scholarships to post-secondary institutions (accredited colleges or universities) for students in need from the Hartford and New Haven areas (with a preference for students from each city).
With the Firm’s presence in Boston and Woburn, Massachusetts, Murtha is proud to support uAspire. With sites in Boston, Springfield and Lawrence, uAspire’s mission is to ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to,and through, a post-secondary education. uAspire partners with schools and community-based organizations to provide free financial aid advice and advocacy to young people and families to help them overcome the financial barriers to higher education.
For more information, visit:
uAspire Scholarship Program:
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving:
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven:
Pro Bono Work
Murtha Cullina has a long history of pro bono service. We work with the State-wide legal services programs to handle cases for clients they cannot serve. We also assist various non-profit organizations with their representation of children in juvenile and family court. Our corporate lawyers assist non-profits with governance issues, and we have also assisted organizations like Habitat for Humanity with real estate transactions. Our representation of military veterans has led to awards for our service. We also accept cases for indigent individuals from the federal court. The firm requires all attorneys to perform pro bono service. Dedicated attorneys provide much more time than the Firm requires.
In the area of sustainability, our Renewable Energy practice has been a leader in comprehensive, creative and innovative solutions to the ever growing needs and problems facing clients as they deploy renewable energy distributed generation (DG), demand-side-management, and energy efficiency at their businesses, hospitals, schools, municipalities and other institutions. To move our efforts forward, attorney Paul Michaud founded and is the Executive Director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Business Association, Inc. (REEBA).
Our Entrepreneur Practice Group gives back to our communities by offering free legal consultations for entrepreneurs and start-up companies. The primary goal of the Entrepreneur Group is to build a supportive community around entrepreneurship. To that end, Murtha Cullina has strong local relationships with community co-working spaces and entrepreneur centers including ReSET (Hartford) and The Grove (New Haven). Murtha Cullina’s entrepreneur attorneys mentor innovators on a daily basis, and at events such as the Innovation Summit, University of Connecticut’s Innovation Quest, as well as in connection with local accelerator programs.
Additionally, in 2014, when the Connecticut Legislature passed a bill allowing Benefit Corporations in the State, our Entrepreneur Group served as a great resoure to those interested in this unique kind of business. A benefit corporation is a type of business corporation, incorporated under the Connecticut Business Corporation Act, but with a broadened purpose to have a social impact.
Diversity and Inclusion
Our Firm is committed to strengthening our diversity and inclusion efforts through recruiting and retaining minority and women attorneys and staff personnel from all backgrounds. We recognize that it is the outstanding people of Murtha Cullina who are the source of our strength and the Firm’s greatest assets. Promoting diversity and inclusion is an integral component of our quest for excellence, and we look for the same among our suppliers, just as our clients do to us.
As part of the effort to advance our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we pursue the following initiatives, among others:
- Improvement of the level of diversity and inclusion within the Firm’s leadership positions, Firm committees and practice development efforts.
- Development of an attorney and senior administrative manager evaluation process to review and recognize the contributions made by our attorneys and department chairs to advance the Firm’s efforts to fulfill our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Emphasis of the Firm’s long standing policy that encourages reporting of any discrimination or harassment based on sex, race, national origin or other protected status.
- Participation in opportunities outside the Firm to explore diversity and inclusion initiatives underway with clients, community organizations, bar associations and minority organizations that share this common objective.
- Strong efforts toward recruiting of excellent minority and women attorneys and law students.
- Emphasis on retention and advancement of minority and women attorneys.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee works closely with the Executive Committee, Recruiting Committee and Associates Committee to carry out these and other initiatives to help strengthen diversity and inclusion throughout the Firm.
In addition to our internal diversity and inclusion initiatives, the Firm and our attorneys are committed to supporting diversity in the legal community:
- In the Fall of 2014, Murtha Cullina became the new host office for Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD). Click here to learn more about LCD.
- Murtha Cullina was one of the first Connecticut firms to subscribe to the CT Bar Association’s Pledge of Gender Equity.
- We are an MA member of the Boston Lawyers Group, a collaboration of law firms supporting diversity, and one of our attorneys holds a leadership position.
- We are a founding member of The Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities (CABO), the state’s first and only Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Chamber of Commerce.
Our attorneys are also members of the:
- Connecticut Black Bar Association
- Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association
- Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford Legal and Tax Panel
- South Asian Bar Association
Above the Law has awarded Murtha Cullina LLP with an “A” rating for gender diversity in its 2016 ATL Law Firm Gender Diversity Database, which categorized every lawyer in the top 1,200 law firms in the United States.
The data compared the total number of attorneys, percentage of female attorneys, percentage of female associates, percentage of female partners, and percentage of female promotions from associate to partner at each of the 1,200 firms and was collected between 2014 and 2015.
Women Expanding Business (WEB)
Our Firm has developed an important initiative to encourage and promote women with the Firm and in the legal and business community called Women Expanding Business (WEB). Through WEB, the Firm organizes and facilitates events to provide an opportunity for networking and to foster conversations and actions that support women in the business world. WEB events focus on practice and client development, marketing, and the retention and promotion of women professionals.
Social Responsibility in the News:
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