Our Stories

Morgan and Helen Chu Donate $1 Million to Public Counsel


Helen and Morgan Chu make an extraordinary gift to endow a CEO Chair at Public Counsel.

March 26, 2021

Public Counsel Board Member Morgan Chu and his wife Helen Chu have donated $1 million to Public Counsel to establish the Helen & Morgan Chu Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair. Margaret Morrow, Public Counsel’s President & CEO, will be the inaugural holder of the position. The gift will support the organization’s work to secure justice for underserved communities across the nation through pro bono legal services, advocacy, and impact litigation.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous gift from Helen and Morgan Chu which will support Public Counsel for years to come,” said Margaret Morrow. “Morgan is our longest serving director, having been with us for nearly three decades. Throughout his tenure with us, he has consistently given his time, talent, and resources to benefit our clients and the communities we serve. He has provided wise counsel to the organization, and offered insightful advice about the direction of our legal services.”

Morgan Chu is a partner at Irell & Manella LLP and is one of the nation’s leading intellectual property lawyers. He joined Public Counsel’s Board of Directors in 1993 and is its longest-serving board member. Helen and Morgan Chu are well known for making extraordinary gifts supporting numerous causes – contributing millions to institutions endowing student scholarships and chairs at UCLA, the Harvard Law School, and the City of Hope.

“Public Counsel is a beacon of hope for low-income communities in Los Angeles and across the nation,” said Morgan Chu. “Serving on the organization’s Board of Directors has been one of the honors of my lifetime, and Helen and I feel fortunate that we can support Public Counsel – and Margaret Morrow’s leadership – with this gift. During her five years at the helm, Margaret has expertly guided the organization through turbulent waters while strengthening its infrastructure and securing groundbreaking wins for its clients. This gift helps to ensure the organization will continue to serve as the nation’s leading provider of pro bono services for years to come.”

“While on the Federal bench, I was privileged to have Morgan appear in my court, and I can truly say that I learned more from watching him as a lawyer than from most other experiences in my legal career,” added Morrow. “Public Counsel is incredibly fortunate to count Morgan and Helen among its friends. I am honored to serve as the inaugural Morgan and Helen Chu Chair.”

Morgan Chu is presently chair of Irell & Manella’s Litigation practice group. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being named one of the "Top Ten Trial Lawyers" in the nation by the National Law Journal. Helen Chu was an elementary school teacher for decades, and with her husband, she has helped to support many philanthropic causes.

Margaret Morrow announced in December 2020 that she would step down as Public Counsel’s CEO and that she would continue in the position until a successor is found. Public Counsel launched a nationwide search and expects to announce its next CEO shortly. The organization’s next leader will assume the Helen & Morgan Chu Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair.