Press Releases

September 24, 2020

Public Counsel's President & CEO Margaret Morrow to Step Down After Leading the Nation's Largest Pro Bono Law Firm for Five Years

For Immediate Release: September 24, 2020

Public Counsel’s President & CEO Margaret Morrow to Step Down After Leading the Nation’s Largest Pro Bono Law Firm for Five Years

A national executive search firm will assist in the search for Judge Morrow’s successor

LOS ANGELES, CA  – Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm, has announced its search for the successor to the Honorable Margaret Morrow (Ret.), its President and Chief Executive Officer. Judge Morrow, who will step down after five years of outstanding service to Public Counsel, will remain in place until her replacement is appointed.

Judge Morrow assumed her position at Public Counsel in January 2016, after 18 years of esteemed service as a judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Before that, Judge Morrow was a partner at the Los Angeles office of Arnold & Porter. Earlier in her distinguished career she was a founding partner of Quinn, Kully & Morrow, and a partner at Kadison, Pfaelzer, Woodard, Quinn & Rossi. Judge Morrow is a past president of the State Bar of California, serving as its first woman president in 1993-94. She also is a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and its Barristers Section.

Public Counsel has achieved wide-ranging growth and progress—and numerous notable victories for its deserving clients—during Judge Morrow’s tenure. Under Judge Morrow’s leadership, Public Counsel has provided direct legal services to more than 85,000 clients who could not afford to pay for a lawyer. At the same time, Public Counsel has played a leading role in cases with broad impact advancing the cause of social justice, and helped millions in the process. Such cases include, most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Deferred Action of Child Arrivals (“DACA”) program and the Sixth Circuit’s landmark decision recognizing the existence of a constitutional right to a basic minimum education ensuring literacy.

“Margaret’s background and stellar reputation raised the profile of Public Counsel to new heights. Her legal acumen has been an incredible resource to Public Counsel’s lawyers and those we partner with from pro bono law firms—and the success on many of our cases can be traced to her direction and guidance. She has expanded and strengthened the organization in countless ways and leaves Public Counsel a better place for it,” said Philip Cook, Chair of the Board of Directors of Public Counsel.

“My five years at Public Counsel have been some of the most rewarding of my long legal career,” Judge Morrow said. “Coming to a non-profit, even one I knew well from my prior board service in the 1980s, has been both exciting and challenging. It has been one of the privileges of my life to work alongside the dedicated staff of Public Counsel fighting for equity and justice for all people. They are courageous and tenacious advocates for our clients, and I am so happy I was able to contribute in some small way to their efforts to help our clients achieve the stable, hopeful futures they deserve.”

The national executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles will assist Public Counsel in the search for Judge Morrow’s successor. Inquiries or expressions of interest may be directed to: publiccounselceo@heidrick.com

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