Foster Positive Law Firm Culture Through Volunteering

The Holiday Season always reminds us to appreciate the advantages we are afforded and help those who are less fortunate. But volunteering shouldn’t be a seasonal thought, making philanthropy part of your culture or career can offer benefits and memories that you will carry with you for a lifetime.

Philanthropy as Part of Your Career

Attorneys hold one of the rarest forms of power in the professional world. The power to provide peace of mind, security, protection and long term assurance amidst life changing situations.

Providing legal services to those who cannot afford them through Legal Aid Groups, Pro Bono Organizations or offering services at drastically discounted rates is one of the greatest gifts you can give back to your community. Whether it’s taking a probate case, or helping a new business get off the ground, paying it forward will deliver immeasurable rewards to you in business and life.

Mentorship & Encouraging Charity Work

A gift for generations to come, mentorship offers so many intangible rewards. Speaking to law students around the country, one gap is abundantly clear. The need for mentorship and guidance in the early stages of their careers. Finding a law student or recent grad, who could use some help with questions like; What is Judge _____ like? When should I refer a Divorce client to a Mediator? Maybe they just needs a shoulder to cry on when the student loan bills start arriving.

Sharing just a couple of hours of your time can make a tremendous impact on a young attorney. Mentorship also provides many opportunities to encourage and instill the importance of Pro Bono work in the next generation of attorneys.

You can find mentorship opportunities through a local law school, or your Bar’s Young Lawyers Division.

Building culture & commitment through team volunteering

Transparency and communication helps you build strong relationships with your employees. Asking them what their passions are, what makes them happy, and how they like to spend their time will help you offer up projects and ideas that are best suited to their interests. If you find a group of your employees are runners, form a 5K team. Everyone loves animals! Great! Get a group together on a Friday afternoon and volunteer at a local shelter.

Giving back as a team builds stronger relationships, a greater sense of dedication and improves long term employee retention. Once a regular schedule or program is in place you’ll notice everyone’s excitement build as the volunteer day on the calendar gets closer. Rally even more volunteers leading up to the outing by sending all-office messages, placing a reminder sign & candy bowl at the office entrance, or extending the invitation to friends & family.

  • Find a volunteer opportunity that’s right for you or your team:
    • Whether is just a quick couple of hours or a day long outing with the team find opportunities through VolunteerMatch.org, and follow them on Twitter @VolunteerMatch.
  • Set up a company fundraising page & share it with your clients
    • Crowdrise & Stay Classy are easy to use tools that help you set up a donation page online and promote it to your contacts & social networks.

Hold a food, clothing or toy drive

One of the easiest ways to give back is to place an empty box in the front of your reception area. Next, send out regular messages about donating items leading up to the actual donation date. Finally, donate as a group! Make an event out of turning in the boxes to the cause you’ve selected, get a team picture and memorialize it in the office or on your website.

Toys for Tots | Find a Food Pantry | Seasonal Clothing Drive Ideas

Partner with a non-profit and build your own program

Finding a cause that employees and the company alike are passionate about, can be a very powerful way to collaborate and grow together. Partnering with a group to bring special volunteer projects and opportunities to your team offers benefits to the organization and it’s employees that go far beyond the bottom line.

Total Attorneys had always encouraged our employees to participate in philanthropic efforts and was searching for a cause that we could invest and grow in tandem with the business when we met Kristen Hendricks in 2008. Kristen is Executive Director & Founder of the Kwagala Project, a Chicago based organization raising awareness and combating human trafficking on the front line in Uganda.

Together with the Kwagala Project, and a team of Total Attorneys employee volunteers the Total Impact House was born. To date the Total Impact House is home to 14 inspiring girls, all with a different stories and starting new lives, fostered by education and long term support to chase their dreams.

The Total Impact House & Committee has created many opportunities for our employees to grow & learn through volunteer opportunities, organizing fundraisers, chatting with the girls in Uganda over Skype and sharing milestones through Facebook. These experiences build character, cultural perspective, and positive morale.

Don’t forget to share!

Everyone has worked hard to make a difference, share it with the world! Pictures in the office, on the firm’s website, the about us or careers section, Facebook Page, Twitter accounts, and client newsletters are all great ways to recognize volunteers and show a softer side of the business. Furthermore, memorializing the importance of participation encourages future volunteers to jump in, and lets clients know it’s not just about the invoices they receive, that the firm does care about the community and actively works to make an impact.

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