Duane Morris Company History Timeline


Founded in 1904 inPhiladelphia, PA

Founded in 1904, the law firm known as Duane Morris has built a history of excellence in the industry.


Only months after being admitted to the bar, Gray’s first case was representing Claudette Colvin, who was arrested on March 2, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to forfeit her seat for a white rider while on her way to school.


Atkinson, a participant in the 1963 March on Washington, was instrumental in the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, Inc., a consortium of law firms and corporations committed to increasing ethnic and racial diversity in Philadelphia's larger law firms.


When the Minority Corporate Counsel Association awarded Duane Morris with its prestigious Innovator Award in 2012, the MCCA renamed the award after Vashon.


Fittingly, when the city of Philadelphia wanted to establish the role of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer in 2016, Mayor Jim Kenney turned to Atkinson.

Since 2016, Atkinson has brought his energy to knocking down the barriers that had historically kept the city’s large workforce racially and economically divided and creating a culture that attracts talented, diverse leaders to Philadelphia government.

Helmed by Joseph K. West, who succeeded Atkinson in 2016 as Duane Morris’ Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, the firm’s diversity and inclusion program is managed with the objective of utilizing the best talent worldwide in solving legal problems.


In 2019, West was the recipient of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award: Diversity & Equality from Chambers and Partners.

In 2019, Duane Morris had the honor of hosting civil rights icon Fred Gray, who shared inspiring stories of being the attorney who represented Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and others in some of the most consequential cases in the civil rights movement.


On January 18, 2021, Duane Morris attorneys from seven offices across the country gathered virtually to provide pro bono legal services to 30 clients, who sought assistance with pardons and citizenship applications.

Company Founded
Philadelphia, PA
Company Headquarter
John J Soroko,Roland Morris,Russell Duane
Company Founders

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