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 we can have the greatest impact. We encourage and enable our lawyers and business services staff to play a role in making a positive difference in the lives of others. We also work with our clients on innovative joint initiatives where, in partnership, our impact can be all the greater.
Consistent with our values of contributing to the communities in which we practice, our offices work at the grassroots level to make a difference.
And we recognize that the local organizations we work with need the reassurance of continued support. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service acknowledges this, too. It awards its Caring Company 10+ Years award to businesses that have demonstrated good corporate citizenship consistently over the previous 10 years. Our Hong Kong office has received this award every year since 2017.
Also, in the spirit of our one-firm culture, we combine the efforts of offices where possible. For example, in 2019, nearly 60 people from our Brussels, London and Paris offices took part in a fundraising cycle challenge from Paris to London. We raised over £40,000 for charity while strengthening connections between offices.
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 weaves community service initiatives into the fabric of every office.
We believe that the future depends on how well the youngest members of society are cared for today.
- In Brussels, we donate computer equipment to schools to ensure children from disadvantaged families have access to technology.
- In our Chicago, Dusseldorf, Houston and London offices, we run annual toy drives and collect life essentials, such as clothing and school supplies.
- Members of our Hong Kong office have recorded videos sharing positive messages and stories of resilience to share with disabled children.
- Our Washington DC office works with the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, an organization that uses baseball and softball to promote character development, academic achievement and improved health in local underserved communities.
- Our offices in Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Paris reduce waste by donating old computers to an environmental charity and collecting cork, batteries and old mobile phones. Proceeds from the German offices' donations and collections 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 conserving marine wildlife.
- Our Hong Kong office also organized a recycling workshop with Soap Cycling, a non-profit organization that collects soap from hotels and redistributes it to those in need.
- Northern California colleagues have helped 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, through the Tutor Mate Innovations for Learning Program, our lawyers and staff virtually tutor at-risk first-grade students in low-income communities in reading.
- Our Chicago and New York offices together support 15 students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School through the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP). The CWSP allows students to earn approximately 65 percent of their tuition while gaining work experience and building a network of professional relationships.
- The Chicago office also works with Urban Alliance to empower under-resourced youth to aspire, work and succeed through paid internships, training and mentorship. Also, two high school students from the Chicago Summer Business Institute (CSBI) intern with a variety of departments for three weeks during the summer, providing work experience and introducing them to the business world.
- In Houston, Chicago and London, we support business clothes drives to give interview candidates the extra confidence afforded by appropriate business clothing.
- In London, we partner with clients and the refugee charity Breaking Barriers (BB) to provide workshops on topics such as preparing for interviews and CV writing. We also provide six-month paid work placements, which were held virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our work with BB won a Dragon Award from the Lord Mayor of London.
- London volunteers also partner with the social enterprise Think it Possible on its Breaking Bread with a Professional initiative, where young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds broaden their understanding of the business world and are encouraged to aspire to a professional career, such as law.
- Lawyers from Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York and Washington DC mentored 70 students during Youth About Business (YAB) summer programs. YAB introduces students from diverse communities to the world of business through M&A summer programs. The students negotiate a simulated merger or acquisition with guidance from volunteers from the business world.
- The New York office hosts panel discussions with high school students from the Red Hook Initiative (RHI). RHI is a Brooklyn organization that shares our goals 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 among the top 10 entrants.
- 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 participating again 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 organizations in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
- In New York, our staff participate in Cycle for Survival indoor team cycling events to fundraise for research into rare cancers.
- Our team in Charlotte supports 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 the 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 runs sustainably, in an eco-friendly work environment.
We believe sustainability must govern how we operate. In particular, we seek to minimize the environmental impact of how we work in the office and how we travel.
We also aim to continuously improve by sharing best practice with the Law Firm Sustainability Network in the United States and the Legal Sustainability Alliance in the United Kingdom.
Over 80 percent of our lawyers and staff work in environmentally accredited office buildings.
- Where we can, we use electricity from renewable sources.
- Computers and monitors are turned off overnight.
- Energy-efficient light bulbs are used wherever possible.
- Automatic presence detectors switch lights off when individuals’ offices are not occupied.
- Timers turn lights off in common areas each day after close of business.
We use less wherever we can and recycle what we do use.
- We provide biodegradable utensils and reusable mugs in most of our office kitchens.
- We reduce bottled water usage by providing pitchers of filtered water and glassware where we can.
- We have robust recycling programs for aluminum cans, glass bottles, paper and cardboard. We avoid plastic whenever possible.
- We also recycle rechargeable batteries and technological waste such as cell phones, computers, printers and printer toner cartridges.
- We print double-sided as the default in many of our offices.
- As we move to hybrid office/home working, we expect to see significant reductions in paper usage as we, and our clients, become accustomed to more paperless activity.
- In most of our offices, we use 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper and, whenever possible, use Forest Stewardship Counsel-certified paper for brochures.
- We have sent electronic greetings for the holidays for many years rather than printing upwards of 15,000 cards each year.
Air Travel and the Daily Commute
- We have put in place strict criteria to justify all air travel, whether client-related or for internal meetings. Wherever possible, other options must be used.
- We have significantly upgraded our IT infrastructure to accommodate virtual meetings—using Webex, Zoom or Microsoft Teams—for most purposes.
- As we come out of the pandemic, we expect to continue with the hybrid office/home model, realizing the environmental benefits of fewer daily journeys to the office.
- Our US offices participate in a program that provides pre-tax benefits to employees who commute via public transportation.
- In Chicago, we have teamed up with Enterprise CarShare to provide lawyers and business services staff with discounted membership and driving rates. The office also offers discounted memberships to the Divvy bike-share service.
- For our Dusseldorf and Frankfurt offices, we have a corporate agreement with Deutsche Bahn to encourage low emissions travel within Germany.