For those of you who don’t know me, I am Bill Lafferty, a partner at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell and I was one of 2022 co-chairs of the Combined Campaign for Justice, along with Eric Monzo, Rob Gibbs, Jennifer Gimler Brady, and Zach George. 2022 marked the second year that I served as the lead chair and the second year that I had the honor to work with these hard-working and talented co-chairs.
Let me begin with a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you! Your generosity to CCJ in 2022 was off the charts. We raised almost $1.75 million for Delaware’s legal services organizations, and we had close to 1,000 donors. This broke our fundraising record from 2021 by over $100K. Truly amazing.
The folks at CCJ asked me if I would close my time on the committee with a few remarks and reflections about my four years as one of the campaign chairs, and I told them that I would try my best to do so – and do so without getting too emotional. Not sure if I’m going to succeed at that.
There is a lot I could say, but I want to just make three points about why I am passionate about CCJ and why I and many others have devoted a substantial amount of time and resources into CCJ:
First, I strongly believe that “access to justice” and “equal justice” are principles that should exist and be applied without regard to economic status, and that these principles contribute importantly to the Rule of Law in our country. These are principles are fundamental to freedom and our system of government and are worth fighting for and devoting time and resources to. As former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell once said:
“Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the façade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists… it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.”
Second, I believe strongly in our community. I know that I – like many of you– have been blessed in life with a lot of great opportunities, and I feel strongly that it is critical to share those blessings with those in our community who need help. Bottom line— we need to take care of our own, and contributing to CCJ and its mission is one small way to try to make a difference in the lives of real people facing real problems.
Third and finally, it’s all about the people to me. Working with great people like Molly, Lisa, Jason, the Executive Directors (Dan, Cynthia and Janine), the CCJ chairs and fundraising committee – and all of you – has been a life-altering experience for me. I have said this many times, but I’m going to say it again: Without a doubt, my involvement with CCJ over the past four years has been by far the greatest honor of my legal career because of all of you. Bar none. And, while I’m stepping down as a lead chair, I will continue to support CCJ and its mission. And, I am stepping down knowing that Eric Monzo and the other chairs will continue to carry forward CCJ’s mission. Thank you.