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Weil to help its London lawyers to become charity trustees

'We have so much more to offer than just our legal skills,' says Peter King

5 August 2015

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Weil, Gotshal & Manges is giving senior lawyers in its London office training on how to be charity trustees.

Following completion of the 'Step on Board' programme, candidates will take up positions on a charity's board or work as a non-executive director in the voluntary sector.

The introduction of this programme "forms part of a new approach to CSR for our London office", Peter King, partner and co-chair of Weil's global pro bono committee told Managing Partner.

"As a firm, we have so much more to offer than just our legal skills. Programmes such as Step on Board allow us to make a broader contribution to society."

Developed by Trustees Unlimited and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the programme promotes the cross-sector sharing of skills and experience.

Candidates receive individual coaching and attend interactive workshops led by sector experts to ensure they are 'board ready' from day one.

The programme is intended to give Weil's senior lawyers a new approach to professional development.

"Based on my own experience, being a trustee of several charities has been a huge benefit to me personally and professionally during my 30 years as a corporate lawyer," commented King.

"I'm sure my colleagues who have signed up to Step on Board will have similar experiences and at the same time broaden their professional networks and horizons."

All of Weil's lawyers are encouraged to spend 50 hours a year delivering pro-bono advice to charities, NGOs, community groups and individuals who cannot afford or access legal representation.

In 2014, Weil's London office gave more than 6,300 hours of pro-bono legal advice, an average of 43 hours per lawyer.

"Pro-bono legal advice is the key pillar of our CSR strategy," he said.

In addition to pro bono, all members of staff are given at least one paid day a year to spend volunteering in the community.

Concluded King: "This programme will undoubtedly lead to more CSR hours, this and the three other volunteering programmes we have recently launched already have!"

The Step on Board programme can be tailored to a firm's individual CSR goals or folded into its existing continuous professional development (CPD) plans.

A recent Managing Partner survey found that CPD is now at the top of the HR strategic agenda of most law firms in the UK, with regulatory changes to the CPD regime coming into full effect on 1 November 2016.




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