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Archive for June 10th, 2013

Mutually beneficial relationships between law firms and charities
Irwin Mitchell, Solicitors

Law firms provide a valuable resource to any community through legal counsel, but companies like Irwin Mitchell also strive to go beyond that. This multi-location firm has demonstrated through several charitable initiatives how other legal teams can integrate community causes into their overall mission. By taking into account the scope, potential benefits and diverse strategies for supporting communities in which they establish their offices, Irwin Mitchell and other firms are rewriting the rulebook for giving back.

Why create charities?

The first answer that may come to mind is publicity, but this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the benefits of integrating business with charitable causes. Law firms that make a sincere investment in the community often find that integrating and collaborating with community charities means that they get to reap the benefits along with the rest of the community. They often start by identifying a need that has gone relatively unaddressed in a community — such as challenges in urban development, insufficient educational funding or populations at risk — and then work to find a way to integrate the cause into their brands. And since their patrons make up the community that they serve — and are often affected by issues like these — many businesses that take the time to give to charities find that they perform better overall.

How can law firms integrate and collaborate with charities?

There are several ways to work with not-for-profit organisations. The most recognisable team effort may be sponsorship of an event to raise money, awareness or both. Especially if your law firm has a strong community presence, this method can effectively boost recognition for the charity of your choice.  You could also donate directly; because many charities lack the financial resources that they need to cover overhead costs, cash is always appreciated.

Irwin Mitchell has also shown recently how meaningful it can be for a law firm to donate something even more precious than money — time. In April of this year, a group of lawyers from the firm decided to make waves by participating in a shark dive that raised more than £2,200 for KIDS, an organisation that aids children and young adults with disabilities. By facing sand tiger sharks that measured ten feet in length, the group was able to bring attention to the cause of KIDS while putting faces on both their law office reputation and the charitable organisation. The event was an example of a creative and completely unique way to bring funds to a good cause.

Whether employees volunteer their time independently or join together to think of a way to integrate their brand with a charity, law firms that invest in the communities where they set up office find that their actions are not only morally commendable but also pragmatic. A strong community gives back to the businesses that support it, making a mutual relationship better for both in the long run.

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