Our Mission Statement
Through our Social Impact program we offer our skills, experience, time and philanthropic support to our local communities and global networks. We contribute when and where it is most appropriate and where our support can have the greatest impact. We encourage and enable our lawyers, staff and clients all to play their role as we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Consistent with our values of contributing to the communities in which we practice and applying selfless teamwork, our offices work at grassroots level to make a difference. We take pride in working on innovative joint initiatives with our clients where, in partnership, our impact can be all the greater.
We recognize that local organizations need the reassurance of continuity of support. One marker of this is the Caring Company 10+ Years award received by our Hong Kong office from the Hong Kong Council of Social Service every year since 2017. This recognizes consistent contributions over the previous ten years.
Following from our One Firm culture, we also combine the efforts of different offices where possible. For example, in May 2019, 57 people from our Brussels, London and Paris offices took part in a fundraising cycle challenge from Paris to London. Not only did the event strengthen connections between offices but more importantly it raised over £40,000 for our partner charities.
Mayer Brown contributes to a wide variety of charities and non-profits both directly and through its lawyers and staff.
Following are some of the organizations we have supported:
Mayer Brown embeds its community service initiatives within the fabric of every office.
We believe the next generation is our future. We aim to give the youngest members of society the support and assistance they need to improve their lives and achieve their life goals. We support organizations dedicated to children’s education and those aiming to alleviate child poverty.
- In Brussels we donate computer equipment to schools to ensure children from disadvantaged families have access to IT facilities.
- Across our Chicago, Dusseldorf, Houston and London offices we run annual toy drives and gift collections and provide life essentials including clothing and school supplies.
- Members of our Hong Kong office recorded videos sharing positive messages and stories of resilience to share with disabled children.
- Our Washington DC office works with Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, an organization which works with local underserved communities, using baseball and softball to help with character development, academic achievement and improved health.
- Our offices in Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Paris have programs to reduce waste by donating old computers to an environmental charity and collecting cork, batteries and old mobile phones. Proceeds from the German offices help fund the preservation of habitats for mountain gorillas.
- In Hong Kong, staff took part in the Run for Survival event organized by Ocean Park Conservation Foundation to raise awareness about reducing the use of plastics and marine wildlife conservation.
- Our Hong Kong team also organized a recycling workshop with Soap Cycling, a non-profit organization which collects soap from hotels and redistributes it to those in need.
- Northern California colleagues have worked on reforestation projects to replant trees in Golden Gate National Park as well as creating teams to carry out beach clean ups and remove plastics from the shoreline, a project similar to one in Hong Kong.
Education and Employability
- In Chicago we work alongside Tutor Mate Innovations For Learning Program in which our lawyers and staff act as virtual reading tutors on a weekly basis to at-risk first grade students in low income communities.
- Our Chicago and New York offices together support 15 students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP). The CWSP allows students to earn approximately 65% of their tuition while gaining valuable work experience and cultivating a strong network of professional relationships.
- Chicago also works with Urban Alliance to empower under-resourced youth to aspire, work and succeed through paid internships, formal training and mentorship. The office also takes two students from the Chicago Summer Business Institute (CSBI) as interns with a variety of departments for three weeks during the summer months. The CSBI provides work experience for high school students and introduces them to the business world.
- In Houston, Chicago and London we support business clothes drives to ensure that candidates going for interviews are given the extra confidence afforded by appropriate business clothing.
- In London we run a flagship program with refugee charity Breaking Barriers (BB). As part of this innovative partnership, we provide workshops jointly with clients to help refugees with skills such as preparing for interviews and CV writing. We also provide six-month paid work placements. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we re-crafted the placements so that they take place virtually. Our work with BB has received public recognition winning a prestigious Dragon Award from the Lord Mayor of London.
- London volunteers also partner with social enterprise Think it Possible on its Breaking Bread initiative. Young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are encouraged to broaden their understanding of the business world and to aspire for professional careers including in law.
- Lawyers from Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York and Washington DC mentored 70 students on the Youth About Business (YAB) summer programs. YAB introduces students from diverse communities to the world of business through intensive M&A summer programs. The students negotiate a simulated merger or acquisition with guidance from volunteers from the business world.
- The New York office has hosted multiple panel discussions with high school students from the Red Hook Initiative (RHI). RHI is a community-based organisation in Brooklyn that shares our goal of youth development and community building.
- Our Washington DC office hosts an annual mock trial program for 30-40 underprivileged youth in partnership with Higher Achievement.
- In Chicago we support the American Cancer Society Walk & Roll each year and usually rank in the top 10 entrants in the city.
- Our German offices participate each year in the JPMorgan Chase run in Frankfurt which provides sports assistance for those with disabilities. We also join with Commerzbank each year for their Reverse Kicker Charity Cup to raise money for Help for Children with Cancer Frankfurt e.V. We look forward to renewing this challenge after the pandemic. We also support Children’s Hospice Barenherz Wiesbaden with financial donations.
- Our Hong Kong staff add running shoes to their business attire for the annual Rat Race obstacle course in Central. The event raises funds for Mindset, which supports mental health-related organisations in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
- In New York our staff participate in Cycle for Survival which holds indoor team cycling events to fundraise for research into to rare forms of cancer.
- Our team in Charlotte support Loaves & Fishes, which provides a week’s worth of groceries to individuals and families experiencing short-term financial hardship.
- In Hong Kong we work with Sunshine Action which distributes hot meals to Hong Kong’s homeless.
- In Washington DC we work with Homestretch, which helps homeless families obtain permanent housing and achieve self-sufficiency and Gifts for the Homeless, which collects clothing.
Mayer Brown puts sustainability central in providing an eco-friendly work environment.
We believe sustainability should govern both our inward and outward facing operations. In particular, we seek to minimize the environmental impact of the space we occupy and our day-to-day office activity, as well as ensuring we avoid non-essential business travel.
We aim for continuous improvement through sharing best practice with legal sector networks including the Law Firm Sustainability Network in the US and the Legal Sustainability Alliance in the UK.
Over 80% of our lawyers and staff work in environmentally accredited office buildings.
- Our buildings reflect our desire to ensure our space has the highest environmental credentials. Accreditations include Chicago (LEED Platinum); Dusseldorf (DGNB Platinum); Frankfurt (LEED Gold); Hong Kong (BEAM Platinum); London (BREEAM Excellent/ISO 14001); Los Angeles (LEED Platinum); New York (LEED-EB); and Washington DC (LEED Gold).
- Where we can, we ensure the electricity we use is from renewable sources.
- Computers and monitors are turned off overnight.
- Energy efficient light bulbs are used wherever possible.
- Automatic presence detectors ensure lights are switched off when offices are not occupied.
- Timers are used in open areas so that lights go off at a set time each day after close of business.
Our principles are to use less wherever we can and to recycle what we do use.
- We provide biodegradable utensils and reusable mugs in most of our office kitchens.
- We reduce bottled water usage where we can by providing pitchers of filtered water and glassware.
- We have robust recycling programs across our offices including aluminum cans, glass bottles, paper and cardboard. We avoid plastic wherever possible.
- We also operate recycling for rechargeable batteries and technological waste such as cell phones, computers, printers and printer toner cartridges.
- We have adopted double-sided printing as a default in many of our offices.
- As we move to hybrid office/home working, we expect to see significant reductions in paper usage and waste as we, and our clients, become accustomed to a paperless environment for much of our activity.
- In most of our offices we use 30% post-consumer recycled paper, wherever possible using Forest Stewardship Counsel certified paper for brochure printing.
- We have sent electronic greetings for the holidays for many years which we estimates saves at least 15,000 cards each year.
Air Travel and Journey to Work
- We have put in place strict criteria to justify all air travel whether client related or for internal meetings. Wherever possible alternative options must be used.
- We have significantly upgraded our IT infrastructure to allow us to hold virtual meetings for most purposes – whether through Webex, Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
- As we come out of the pandemic, we expect to continue with the best aspects the hybrid office/home model with resultant environmental benefits through less daily office journeys.
- Our offices in the USA participate in a program that provides pre-tax benefit options to employees using public transportation for their commute.
- In Chicago we have teamed up with EnterpriseCarShare to provide lawyers and staff with discounted membership and driving rates. The office also offers discounted memberships to DIVVY, the city’s bike sharing service.
- For our Dusseldorf and Frankfurt offices we have a corporate agreement with Deutsche Bahn to encourage low emissions travel within Germany.