Are you looking to create impact and foster loyalty with those in your community? As the newer generations of clients demand that businesses take a stand on issues, now is the perfect time to give back. Find all the answers here.
Studies show social impact is where it’s at.
Today, people want to see law firms, and frankly, all businesses, go the extra mile; so how can you differentiate yourself from the rest? Through CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility. (We’ll delve into the details in the following chapter.)
Without a CSR plan, firms might run the risk of falling behind as the newer generations of consumers demand corporations take a stand on issues like race equity, the environment, mental health, and civic engagement.
On top of that, Law.com, a leading legal news, states lawyers also want to be a part of something bigger. They interviewed Kent Zimmermann, a consultant for Zeughauser Group, and he said,
“Put it this way, law firms are in a very competitive fight for talent, and the competition is greater than it’s been at any time in recent history,” Zimmermann said. “And a lot of the upcoming lawyers want to be part of something that’s bigger than themselves. They want to align with organizations that have values that they agree with. They want to align with organizations that stand for something.”
Before diving into creative ways, you can give back to your community, let’s quickly look into the elements of CSR.
What’s CSR and Why Should Firms Care?
CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, is typically broken down into 4 categories known as Carroll’s Pyramid:CSR also helps:
- Attract and retain top talent – People are keen on seeing brands focus on more than just profits, and your staff is no exception.
- Attract and retain clients – Besides retaining talent, you’ll enhance your credibility and loyalty.
- Improve your community – Business relationships can be fortified through community. Besides, getting involved will show you are above par.
- Improve your well-being – Ultimately, giving back means you’re also growing as a human being. It’ll positively impact your mental health, and ultimately, you’ll…
- Impact and change the trajectory of someone’s life (for the better)!
How to Attach Your Firm’s Name to Great Causes
The beauty behind all this is that there is no linear or ‘right way’ you can give back. We encourage you to think outside the box here!
In some of the following, you may subtly attach your name and brand behind it with your firm’s logo. (And honestly, you can brand any item!)
1. Be a mentor
Mentorship is a terrific way for law firms to get involved. With your accumulated knowledge, you can mentor at:
- Legal communities: Besides meeting other potential mentors, you can extend a helping hand to other legal professionals. The Law Community offers a virtual space to connect, mentor, and learn.
- Bar Associations: Join voluntary bar associations. According to LAWsome guest attorney Sean McQuaid, “It’s just a great opportunity to join these to give back to your community, get to know other lawyers, network, and learn a lot of what’s going on at your local bar.“
- Legal mentoring associations: Do you want to help the next generation of lawyers? The NLMC, Legal Mentoring Consortium, offers legal mentoring associations.
2. Boost a non-profit
Do you want to volunteer outside the practice of law? Then you might want to consider volunteering at a non-profit close to your heart. You can search for different charities here, and if you want to be more specific, you can search for more local charities by state here.
3. Help legal authors
Many legal writers and editors are constantly researching a diverse range of topics, including rights management, copyright questions, defamation cases, legal updates, etc. Providing first-hand expertise is a win-win for both parties as the writer(s) may be able to attribute some credit or link back to your firm!
4. Host a Food Drive
Insufficient financial resources create the most challenges for households below the poverty line, and this is a universal problem. If you’d like to help, then host a food drive!
There are 2 types of food drives you can participate in:
- Find your local food bank here, collect donations for around 2 weeks, and drop off donations. You can also give away any other valuable branded items your firm creates, e.g., shirts, sweaters, and mugs.
- Host a virtual food drive here
5. Share your non-legal skills
Got any tricks up your sleeve? Time to show them! No matter what kind of skills you have, there’s a chance you can teach your local community for free.
Pro tip: If your skills are more technical, look out for any local events related to a career fair (and you might even end up mentoring others entering the practice of law!)
6. Participate in responsible waste management
This is a big one. Law firms aren’t necessarily known for their green thumb. In fact, a single lawyer can print up to 100,000 sheets of paper every year! But, if you begin a waste management program, you can showcase this on your website.
Although law firms deal with piles of confidential information, firms can begin a waste management program with the help of Software as a Service (SaaS) such as TIE Kinetix, which offers companies and governmental institutions electronic documentation.
There are other ways you can begin a waste management program:
- Adopt a block and host community activities e.g. food drives, clothing donations, neighborhood cleanups
- Adopt a recycling system in your office
7. Work for the public good, AKA – Pro Bono
Here are some fast facts related to Pro Bono:
In addition, firms can join the ABA Virtual Legal Clinic, where income-eligible clients post legal questions, and usually, pro bono attorneys provide answers.
8. Do your research!
There’s no limit to what you can do when it comes to community engagement and volunteering. You can also:
- Connect with other professionals on LinkedIn and check on the conversations different groups are partaking in. Pro tip: follow relevant hashtags like #CSR to keep up with the discussions around this topic.
- Contact or keep an eye on your local reporters and see what’s mentioned about your community.
Foster Loyalty Beyond the Brand
Ultimately, CSR boosts something priceless: loyalty. As more clients demand corporations take a stand on different issues, you should attach your firm’s name to something great!
If you’d like to brand your firm and create an outreach strategy with different communities, we’re here to help.