Morrell '84 (JD) Named to 2013 “Men Who Make a Difference" List

San Diego (July 16, 2013) – Today San Diego Metro Magazine named John Morrell, '84 (JD), one of 20 "Men Who Make a Difference."

Morrel, managing partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack in San Diego, was selected based on his exceptional firm management that resulted in unprecedented growth, as well as the significant contributions he has made in the community.

Under Morrell’s leadership, Higgs Fletcher & Mack hired 23 attorneys in the last two years, seven of whom are females, and even through the economic downturn, the company has not had any professional layoffs since he became Chairman in 1997. Morrell has also taken a strategic approach to practice group expansion to now include Immigration & Nationality, Environmental Law, and Hotels, Restaurant & Tourism, which includes the fast-growing area of craft brewing.

"As a general rule, law firms rarely change how they do business," said Morrell when asked about Higgs’ growth strategy. "Contrarily, we view innovation as one key component to maintaining growth, profitability, and employee moral."

Under his leadership, Higgs Fletcher & Mack underwent a complete re-branding initiative to bring the firm current, while still maintaining its history that dates back to 1939. This effort included a revamp of its website that incorporated comprehensive, web-based communication schemes to correspond with its clients and industry influencers through social media, email and broadcast media. In doing so, the firm has become more nimble and responsive to the needs of its clients.

Additionally, Morrell revised Higgs Fletcher & Mack’s physical plant so that it could accommodate large scale meetings and events, thereby collaborating better with clients as well as meeting many of the firm’s social and civic obligations. He also established best practices committees to review and restructure the way the firm does business to make it more cost-efficient and effective to meet the needs of the San Diego market.

Through the firm, Morrell has spearheaded an initiative to match every staff contribution to the United Way dollar for dollar. He also has overseen their annual Diversity Scholarship program, an annual $10,000 grant to a minority or female law student enrolled at USD School of Law, and this year has expanded its diversity giving to include California Western School of Law.

Morrell has also taken a strong interest to grow the diversity of its staff, significantly increasing the number of minority and women partners and associates within the firm over the past several years. He has also improved operations to ensure an efficient and positive environment for the Higgs Fletcher & Mack team. Not stopping there, Morrell has been a driving force in giving back, involving himself in key positions within various industry and community groups, including the Rotary Club of San Diego, the San Diego History Center, and several other charitable organizations.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.