Attorney Malcolm J. Gross Recipient of the Allentown Human Relations Commission Award
The Allentown Human Relations Commission has announced the recipients of the 2011 Human Relations Awards. The Lauren Giguere Award of Distinction will be awarded to Malcolm Gross, attorney and partner at Gross McGinley, LLP. Malcolm J. Gross has spent countless hours in service to and working for numerous entities with a goal of equality and opportunity for all. He lives, works and advocates in Allentown.
Mal has maintained a private law practice in Allentown throughout his entire legal career. He graduated with honors from Muhlenberg College and graduated Villanova Law School, where he was a member of the board of editors of the Villanova Law Review. He was then named as a law clerk to Chief Justice Michael Eagan of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court where he assisted Justice Eagan in the writing of a number of landmark legal decisions.
Thereafter, he established a private practice in Allentown first on Linden Street, then on Fifth Street. In keeping with his sincere commitment to the City of Allentown, in 1986 his firm purchased a dilapidated building at 33 South Seventh Street, performed an extensive renovation into what is now known as Crown Tower. It is home to various businesses, as well as the 28 attorney law firm of Gross McGinley.
In addition to his private practice, Mal began his career as a voluntary public defender serving those who could not afford counsel. Ultimately he was named Assistant Public Defender and continued to serve the public in that respect until he was named Solicitor to the Lehigh County Office of Children & Youth Services. For 16 years, he served in Lehigh County Juvenile Court as Office of Children & Youth Solicitor protecting the rights of neglected and abused children and facilitating their adoption and placement where absolutely necessary.
He has served children in other capacities. He was the founding president of Lehigh Valley Child Care whose mission was and still is to provide daycare for working families. He also was the founding president of Community Services for Children which among other things administers the HeadStart Program and several years ago it established a major presence in Allentown at the Donnelly Campus in East Allentown. There, CSC serves numerous Allentown children in need.
Mal also serves as a member of the Board of the Harry C. Trexler Trust. There, he has been able to support numerous Allentown schools, parks and non-profit causes which have greatly benefitted the City’s housing, schoolchildren and needy.
He also served as local counsel pro bono for the City of Allentown in a major, precedent setting case in which the City changed its housing discrimination ordinance to forbid discrimination against gays and lesbians. He has publically advocated for numerous City causes on important public issues in public opinion articles and opinion pieces in the Morning Call newspaper.
Mal is a strong advocate for building community spirit in Allentown and has been so recognized by numerous organizations.
Other award recipients are Joseph Lubell, Judith Sabino, Cynthia Amaya Santiago, Dr. Patricia Sullivan, Casa Guadalupe Center, and Hola! Radio. An Awards Celebration will take place on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at 5:30pm, at Allentown Symphony Hall located at 23 N. 6th Street in Allentown.