European law firm Fieldfisher has signed up to Fifth Day, a new initiative aimed at promoting the take-up of pro bono work to business services professionals working in the legal sector.
As part of its membership of Fifth Day, Fieldfisher has committed to promoting pro bono opportunities to its business services employees, as well as recognising their skills and experience gained in the voluntary sector. Where appropriate, the firm will also introduce its own charitable partners to the scheme.
Launched in June 2022, Fifth Day is a non-profit organisation, which aims to connect highly skilled people with high-calibre volunteering opportunities. The initiative has been launched in conjunction with leading skills-based volunteering organisation Reach Volunteering. This milestone ensures that the legal workforce can positively contribute to the local community and it is a huge step towards expanding the legal industry's giving culture beyond legal pro bono.
Millie Hawes, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Fieldfisher, said: "Law firms have long been advocates of legal pro bono work and it is fantastic that we can now be in a position to formally commit to the culture of non-legal pro bono, for which there was a clear need within the global legal sector. Providing equitable opportunities to community initiatives gives our business service employees access to a new enterprise that will prompt impact-driven change in civil society. Signing up with Fifth Day put us in an ideal position to promote and uphold the many benefits that skills-based volunteering brings.”
Janet Thorne, CEO of Reach Volunteering, said: “The UK legal profession has a proud tradition of pro bono work and it is wonderful to see a commitment to extending that into business operations teams. Across the country there are many charities who would benefit massively from support across a wide range of business disciplines. This is a positive step.”
Fred Banning, Founder of Fifth Day, said: "It is really heartening that so many of the leading law firms in the country have embraced the concept of non-legal pro bono. The great thing is that none of the conversations I have had with firms has revolved around ‘this is why pro bono is a good idea’. They know the benefits for their lawyers, and so making the case for extending a culture of pro bono to their business services teams is not a massive leap. It’s a win for the firms, their employees and the third sector organisations we’re trying to help.”
Fieldfisher is the first amongst 12 law firms to become a member of Fifth Day, including Clyde, Dentons, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Pinsent Masons.
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