Our community investment programme focuses on access to opportunity, with an emphasis on education and offering routes to work, and access to the legal profession. We aim to provide global support to our target groups in these areas.
The most valuable contributions we make are through the work of our people. Last year almost one in three of our people volunteered for community projects, giving over 22,000 hours of time on top of that donated via our pro bono legal advice. We aim to use our skills and resources to have a meaningful and lasting impact, and last year our efforts directly benefited more than 5,000 individuals.
Our work is best demonstrated through examples of the projects we support. One of our flagship programmes in London, Ready for Work, helps those who have significant barriers to employment get back into work. We help participants via work placements and job coaching, among other things, and our involvement has led to our becoming a key supporter of Business in the Community’s ‘Ban the Box’ campaign. This encourages employers to remove the tick box asking about criminal convictions from application forms.
In Germany we partner with the START foundation on its scholarship programme for students who have recently migrated to Germany. We provide workshops for those who express an interest in law, covering legal topics, negotiation skills and advice on pursuing a career in the profession.
In New York we sponsor the Legal Outreach programme, which helps young people from disadvantaged communities continue their studies through higher education. Our volunteers mentor students and we host many of them during a week-long internship at our offices.
In Singapore we help students from low-income groups to develop skills for the workplace in partnership with ITE (Institute of Technical Education) College East.
Many of our offices have relationships with local schools, such as in Paris where we offer students from the Paul Verlaine school an annual ‘discovering business’ day, work experience and a trip to the Paris Courts of Justice.
We also have a programme that matches the personal donations our people make to charity, and have a specific disaster response policy in place to match employee donations in times of crisis. Through our payroll giving scheme we also offer our people a tax-efficient way to donate to their preferred causes.
These are just a few examples of our community investment activities. More information can be found in the Our impact section.