Corporate Social Responsibility: looking beyond the law

26 April, 2018

This week the trainee solicitor blog team caught up Ed Dickinson, a first year trainee in the Corporate team. Ed has written about how Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s corporate social responsibly drew him to the firm.

Why Cripps Pemberton Greenish?

Choosing a law firm can be difficult, especially when firms ubiquitously claim to deliver a “full service to their clients meeting all their business needs”. So how do you choose a firm for your training contract that is right for you?

When making your choice it is important to look beyond the day to day operations of the business and consider the firm’s culture, reflecting on how this aligns with your own values and interests. A successful training contract, and ultimately a career, will depend on a variety of factors, but one thing is for sure: you will perform more effectively if you enjoy the environment you work in.

For me, an important factor in selecting the right firm was the firm’s stance on corporate social responsibility (“CSR”).  Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s emphasis on helping the local community through a variety of schemes was a major attraction, offering something other firms didn’t.

My experience so far

While most organisations participate in charity work, Cripps Pemberton Greenish is unique because trainees are given the opportunity to take on an active role in leading firm wide initiatives. Aside from the obvious charitable benefit, getting involved with these initiatives is a great way of developing your commercial acumen through organising, planning, and negotiating aspects of an event. They also provide excellent opportunities for both internal and external networking.

Last year I assisted in organising the annual charity quiz. This was a successful event attracting 130 participants and raising over £1000 for Teenage Cancer Trust. This year I will be co-organising the event with a fellow trainee in aid of this year’s charity, Rethink Mental Illness.

In November a group of trainees took part in the Streetlaw project alongside BPP University. This involved teaching GCSE students at a local school about the risks of Social Media and the Law. The classes were well received and we are now in the process of organising a second Streetlaw project on the dangers of sexting and revenge porn.

Once a week a group of staff members spend their lunch time helping children at a local primary school to improve their reading skills. This is an extremely rewarding scheme involving something completely different, particularly as you can see the progression of the children throughout the term.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish also encourages each employee to take a ‘CSR day’ – an additional day’s leave to allow participation in other charitable events of your choice.

Trainees regularly lead the firm’s other charitable events, which range from a monthly ‘dress down day’ and ‘bun run’ cake sale to large scale events like our summer fete. Raising money for these events is great fun and enables the trainees to interact with colleagues throughout the firm.