Linklaters goes global with community pro bono effort

Linklaters is set to launch a month-long programme of volunteering initiatives throughout June to coincide with National Pro Bono Week. The series of events is designed to encourage as many people within the firm as possible to “step forward and volunteer”. The events will follow on from the firm’s ‘Time to Volunteer’ scheme, launched last year, where all Linklaters staff are allowed an extra day off every year to take part in community investment activities.

Activities at the London office will include team challenges for community partners throughout Shoreditch, such as serving breakfasts at Whitechapel Mission and painting at Spitalfields City Farm. Other initiatives will feature helping students improve their job-seeking skills at schools across Newham, in conjunction with the Building Opportunities Skills Seminars (Boss) initiative. The firm will also host a ‘Take your teacher to work day’, where schoolteachers spend the day with people across the firm learning about the opportunities available in City law firms for their students, as well as attending lunchtime presentations from Liberty, Toynbee Hall and Opportunity International about their programmes.

“It works both ways,” comments Anthony Cann, senior partner at Linklaters. “At Linklaters’ offices throughout the world, our pro bono and community investment programme not only supports individuals and communities, but also rewards our own people with invaluable experience and, above all, a new perspective. The programme reflects the firm’s sense of social responsibility and commitment to giving time and value whenever and wherever possible”.

The firm has committed itself to contributing a minimum of 1 per cent of its global pre-tax profits to the community through its community investment programme.

There will also be a series of activities taking place in the firm’s European offices, which will include a ‘Seeing is believing’ visit organised by its Prague office, which will “highlight how business can play a role in tackling pressing social issues in some of the most deprived inner city and rural areas”.

In Paris the firm will host a lunch for community investment practitioners to discuss ways of promoting volunteer participation.

Back in London, meanwhile, Linklaters will be hosting, for the second year, a pro bono seminar for its community partners (such as the Mary Ward Legal Centre, Toynbee Hall and the Shoreditch Trust) and small businesses and community groups in Hackney. The seminar won recognition from the Solicitors Pro Bono Group and the Young Solicitors Group last year. According to the firm, it is “designed to be practical and informative, providing all of Linklaters’ pro bono clients with up-to-date legal advice from specialists in their field, as well as showing our community partners the kind of support that Linklaters can offer them”.