Mayer Brown has a long-held commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and has many initiatives underway around the world.

Our Mission Statement

Through its CSR program Mayer Brown works to best understand the needs and priorities of our communities and how we can best assist by offering our skills, experience, time and philanthropic support. We work in partnership with our local and global communities to ensure that we contribute when and where it is most appropriate and where our support can have the greatest impact. Our CSR program is open to participation by our lawyers, staff and clients, as we strive to make a difference in the lives of others.

Mayer Brown’s CSR program has five main areas of focus: 

Charitable Giving 
Community Service
Diversity & Inclusion
Pro Bono 
Sustainability
Highlights
Mayer Brown wins Legal Week Innovation Award for CSR Innovation
Double win for Mayer Brown at the HR in Law Awards 2018
Mayer Brown wins prestigious Lord Mayor's Dragon Award for Inclusive Employment

Mayer Brown, directly and through its lawyers and staff, contributes to a wide variety of respected charities and nonprofit organizations, providing pro bono legal support and direct financial contributions, as well as the use of our offices.

Following are some of the organizations we have supported:

Mayer Brown lawyers and staff are encouraged and enabled to participate in our community service initiatives as part of the firm’s wider CSR program.

Firm personnel bring causes and organizations to the firm’s attention and go on to dedicate their time and expertise, together with their colleagues, to making a difference.

Mayer Brown’s community service program works with and supports organizations in the following areas:

Children

Looking to the next generation is a key focus for Mayer Brown. Our aim is 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.

Organizations and initiatives we support include the following:

  • In Hong Kong we work with Indochina Starfish Foundation, an organization that aims to achieve long-lasting and positive change among some of the poorest and most disadvantaged children and families in Cambodia through education and sports activities.
  • Across our Chicago, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, London and Houston offices we run annual toy drives and gift collections and provide life essentials including clothing and school supplies.
  • In Washington DC we work with Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, an academy that works with underserved communities in Washington DC, using baseball and softball as a way to develop children’s character development, academic achievement and improved health.
  • Our Hong Kong office participate in the annual Barefoot Walk for Children, an event to raise funds and awareness regarding the plight of children and families of South Sudan who are living through an ongoing civil war and food crisis. 

Conservation

Out of concern for our impact on the environment, we have developed an extensive sustainability program to guide our workplace practices. We also are directly involved in environmental issues for our communities. Our projects range from supporting Earth Hour and beach cleanups to replanting trees and collecting mobile phones for recycling to fund efforts to preserve habitats for mountain gorillas.
  • Mayer Brown is a Hong Kong corporate member of the World Wildlife Fund and is involved in garden and habitat recovery programs at WWF Island House Conservation Studies Centre. Staff members attend the Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre to learn more about marine ecology and coral reefs.
  • Staff in our Palo Alto and Hong Kong offices have supported their local marine environment by creating teams to carry out beach cleanups and remove plastics from the shoreline.
  • Our Palo Alto staff have also worked on reforestation projects working to replant trees in Golden Gate National Park.
  • Outside of our extensive recycling programs across the firm, our Paris and German offices are leading the effort to reduce waste by donating old computers to an environmental charity and collecting cork, batteries and old mobile phones. Proceeds from the German collections help fund the preservation of habitats for mountain gorillas. 

Education and Employability

A key focus for Mayer Brown is to attract, develop and retain talent. Our Diversity & Inclusion program works closely alongside CSR to ensure that in partnership we develop and are involved in projects supporting education and employability to those with a lack of access to educational resources and employment opportunities for whatever reason.

For any child to be able to achieve an education, they need to have both access to education and the resources to be able to continue that education. To support these children, our Asia offices have worked extensively supporting Loreto in Vietnam to provide school packs to children in remote areas; in Hong Kong and Vietnam our projects supply books to children; and in Hong Kong we support TREATS providing children with special needs English lessons and a community exploration day.

In Chicago we work alongside Tutor Mate Innovations For Learning Program with 22 Mayer Brown lawyers and staff in Chicago acting as weekly virtual reading tutors to at-risk first grade students in low income communities.

As children develop in their education, we understand the importance of their gaining access to employers, and we offer, alongside our standard graduate work placement schemes, a series of other work placement schemes for those who have less access or opportunity. These include:

  • Washington - We host 60 middle school students from underprivileged neighborhoods for Higher Achievement’s National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration event.
  • London - We offer an introductory course to the world of work for school students. We also offer work experience placements to those from low social mobility backgrounds, those with learning disabilities and refugees.
  • Chicago - Ten students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago participate in the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) for the entire school year. The CWSP allows students to earn approximately 65% of their tuition while gaining valuable work experience and cultivating a strong network of professional relationships. We also work with Urban Alliance to empower under-resourced youth to aspire, work and succeed through paid internships, formal training and mentorship. Two students from the Chicago Summer Business Institute intern with a variety of departments for three weeks during the summer months. The CSBI provides work experience for Chicago high school students and introduces them to the business world.

Our focus on employability extends across all age groups, and we understand the need to give support, share our experiences and assist with improving job search skills, CV writing and interview skills. We have various programs across many offices including:

  • Volunteers in our New York office have supported activities at Covenant House focused on helping youth improve their skills and job-hunting abilities and develop an employment/career strategy. We participate in mock interviews and join in career-mapping panels.
  • In London our flagship program is a partnership with Breaking Barriers where we provide a six-month, paid work placement to refugees, provide a series of employability skills workshops and offer coaching services.
  • Our Washington DC office hosts an annual mock-trial program for 30—40 underprivileged youth in partnership with Higher Achievement.
  • In Houston, London and Chicago we support business clothes drives to ensure that candidates going for interviews are given confidence by wearing suitable clothing

Health

Mayer Brown recognizes the impact that serious health issues have on our communities. Through our charitable giving and community service programs we support various health-related campaigns and causes.
  • Children with Cancer Frankfurt e.V. - Our German offices join with Commerzbank each year for their Reverse Kicker Charity Cup to raise money for Help for Children with Cancer Frankfurt e.V. They also support Children’s Hospice Bärenherz Wiesbaden with financial donations.
  • Cycle for Survival - In New York our staff participate in Cycle for Survival, a national fundraiser dedicated to raising money for rare cancer research through indoor team cycling events.
  • JPMorgan Chase Run - Our German offices participate each year in the JPMorgan Chase run in Frankfurt, which supports sports for people with disabilities.
  • Remote Health Services - We have donated funds to provide health services to 1,500 residents in a remote Chinese village.
  • Cardiomyopathy UK - In our London office we have supported Cardiomyopathy UK, which promotes awareness of the heart muscle disease of cardiomyopathy and The Royal Marsden Hospital, a specialized hospital for cancer patients.
  • Mindset - In Hong Kong Mayer Brown staff add running shoes to their business suits or dress in costume for the annual Rat Race obstacle course in Hong Kong’s central business district. The event raises funds for Mindset, which supports mental health-related organizations in Hong Kong and mainland China.
  • American Cancer Society Walk & Roll Chicago - Each year we support the American Cancer Society Walk & Roll Chicago and rank in the top 10 companies in the city with 2 team members having been in the top 20 participants. 
  • Blood Donation - Many of our offices run regular blood donation sessions.

For more information about Mayer Brown’s health-related projects, please contact Heidi Newbigging

Humanitarian Relief

The most desperate needs of our fellow humans often appear overwhelming. Mayer Brown works alongside local and global organizations to try to alleviate suffering and address humanitarian needs. We also work with our staff to inform them of appeals in the event of national and local natural disasters or calls for emergency relief. 
  • Food supplies - in Hong Kong we work with Sunshine Action, which distributes hot meals to Hong Kong’s homeless. In Charlotte we support Loaves & Fishes, which provides a week’s worth of groceries to individuals and families experiencing short-term financial crisis.
  • Homelessness - 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. In London we ran a two year fundraising appeal for a local homeless project working to support the homeless returning to employment. 

Mayer Brown is committed to an eco-friendly work environment.

Almost 80 percent of our staff work in environmentally accredited buildings. Our Global Sustainability Policy stresses the importance of global education on environmental issues and has a focus on local action to implement sustainable business practices and effect positive change.

Environmental Sustainability in Action

Across our offices worldwide, we are committed to the following practices:

Sustainable Office Buildings

Moving into energy-efficient office buildings that facilitate sustainable practices.

Several of our global offices feature energy-efficient features such as glass office walls, energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly building materials and furniture, and energy-reducing motion sensors to reduce light and water usage.

Several of our offices are in energy-efficient buildings that have received the following accreditations, including our offices in Chicago (LEED Platinum), Düsseldorf (DGNB Platinum), Frankfurt (DGNB Platinum and LEED Gold), London (BREEAM “Excellent”), Los Angeles (LEED Platinum), New York (LEED-ED) and Washington DC (LEED Gold).

Energy Reduction

Educating our lawyers and staff on the benefits of turning off monitors and computers at night and changing our US and European Information Systems policy to allow complete shutdown overnight. These practices are projected to prevent the release of up to 325 tons of carbon dioxide per year into the atmosphere.
Using energy-efficient light bulbs and automatic presence detection lighting systems. We use timers in open areas so that lights turn off at a set time each day after close of business. 

Waste Reduction

Providing biodegradable utensils and reusable mugs in most of our office kitchens.

Significantly reducing bottled water usage for internal and external meetings by providing pitchers of filtered water and glassware.

Establishing robust recycling programs across the firm’s offices, including plastic, aluminum cans, glass bottles, paper and cardboard recycling.

Offering recycling programs for rechargeable batteries and technological waste such as cell phones, computers, printers and printer toner cartridges, in compliance with regional e-waste regulations. 

Responsible Paper Consumption

Developing a paperless initiative, a multifaceted program to promote green workplace behaviors, adopt best practices and leverage technologies to reduce paper in the workplace. Our vision is to reduce both our off-site records inventory and our physical consumption of paper by 60 percent within the next few years.

Changing imaging technologies across the firm with the understanding that consistent use of features such as double-sided or multiple-page printing can dramatically decrease paper consumption.

Using 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper in the majority of our offices and, whenever possible, using Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC) certified paper for brochure printing.

Sending electronic greetings for the holidays since 2009. In keeping with our commitment to the environment, this change has eliminated paper waste related to mailing approximately 15,000 holiday cards every year.  

Reduced Air Travel and Auto Emissions

Mayer Brown uses video conferencing for internal and external meetings to reduce non-essential travel. Additionally, our local offices have implemented the following initiatives: 

In the US, Mayer Brown has a corporate agreement with Amtrak for rail travel between New York and Washington DC, to reduce air shuttle travel and the overall carbon footprint. Amtrak is also the first railroad to join the Climate Registry, a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions in a single registry.

Our US offices participate in a program that provides pre-tax benefits options to employees using public transportation for their commute. 

The Chicago office teamed up with EnterpriseCarShare (formerly I-GO) to provide Mayer Brown employees with discounted membership and driving rates. The Chicago office also offers discounted memberships to DIVVY, the city's bike sharing service.

In Germany, Mayer Brown has a Corporate Agreement with Deutsche Bahn and recommends to use the frequent traveller card where appropriate, especially for frequent travel between the German offices. The frequent traveler card supports the usage of green electricity. In 2017 the CO2 saving was 35.270 kg compared to travelling by car.