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August 22, 2012

Bar Foundation and Bar Association Mourn the Passing of Morris M. Shuster

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation and Philadelphia Bar Association, through President Wendy Beetlestone and Chancellor John E. Savoth, expressed on August 22 joint condolences on the passing of Morris M. Shuster, a generous supporter of the Bar Foundation and the benefactor of its Shuster Fellowships.

"To date, 26 public interest attorneys have received Shuster Fellowships to help them retire their law school debt. Mr. Shuster's generosity of spirit and efforts on behalf of the public interest have touched so many lives," the organization leaders said. "He will be missed."

In 2008, Philadelphia Bar Foundation Executive Director Lynne E. Brown interviewed Mr. Shuster for a profile story that ran in the Philadelphia Bar Reporter. "He was incredibly warm and funny and generous with his time," Brown said. "And he was passionate about supporting the public interest community."

Regarding the Shuster Fellowship program and his motivation for creating it, Mr. Shuster said:

"Lawyers in private practice have the opportunity to do good for their clients and well for themselves. Public interest attorneys do good for their clients but often at great sacrifice to themselves."

Mr. Shuster also cited the "Eight Degrees of Charity" developed by Maimonides, a great Jewish philosopher.

"The highest degree of charity is offering someone charity in such a way that they never have to ask for help again," he said.

"I want to help those lawyers who do so much for the public good by easing the economic pressure on them so they can continue to make our community a better place. For every Fellowship we give, there are six more public interest attorneys who could benefit. I hope that other attorneys will be moved by the plight of our fellow attorneys in the public interest community to make contributions to the Fellowship program."
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