Leah Hipple McKay Memorial Awards

Leah Hipple McKay Memorial Awards


Mark C. Surprenant was awarded the 2008 Leah Hipple McKay Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteerism. He is senior partner in charge of the New Orleans office of Adams and Reese, LLP. He received his BA degree in 1973 from Fordham University and his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, in 1977 from Loyola University Law School. His practice focuses on products liability and toxic tort, and he serves as the firm’s Agricultural Chemicals Litigation Practice team leader. Since the beginning of his career, Surprenant has been dedicated to community service. In 1988, he founded Adams and Reese’s nationally recognized corporate philanthropy program, HUGS (Hope Understanding Giving and Support), which has provided thousands of hours and dollars to more than 100 schools, churches, hospitals and other charitable organizations in the communities where the firm has a presence. In 2000, he founded Adams and Reese’s official pro bono program, CA&RE (Caring Adams and Reese Employees).

Aside from leading his firm’s community service and pro bono efforts, he also has been an active advocate of volunteerism outside of the firm. He is the co-founder of SOLACE (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel All Concern Encouraged), served as the first chair of the LSBA’s Community Action Committee and has been active in the HELP (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) program since it was established in 2004.

The 2008 chair of the board of the New Orleans Pro Bono Project, Surprenant chaired the Project’s Justice For All Ball in 2005 and 2006. He has served on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the St. Vincent DePaul Society, the Catholic Foundation, the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory and St. Andrew’s Village. For his unprecedented efforts and success in inspiring his law firm and the legal community to volunteer, he has been recognized with several awards, including the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans “Role Model” Award, 2007; the East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary “Great Gentleman” Award, 2007; the St. Elizabeth’s Guild “Community Hero” Award, 1998; the LSBA’s President’s Award, 1996; and Loyola University Law School’s Gillis Long Public Service Award, 1995. In 1996, the New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce selected Surprenant to carry the Olympic Torch in recognition of his community involvement.


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