For global law firm Hogan Lovells, investment in community is not just about bringing jobs and economic opportunity. It’s also about giving back, by providing access to legal help to those who can least afford it and by working with partners to improve our communities. That’s why we call our community investment work Citizenship.
Citizenship is more than an idea at Hogan Lovells; it is part of the culture. All of our people are expected to give at least 25 hours per year to Citizenship initiatives. For most of our lawyers, that means pro bono (“for good”) legal work. Our lawyers work on hundreds of pro bono projects around the world, including representing inmates on death row, helping to compensate victims of terrorism, and providing free legal advice to people who otherwise could not afford representation.
For our non-lawyers – the business support professionals who make up most of our Louisville office staff – Citizenship means dedicating time and effort to work with local and global charity partners and good causes. In fact, since our Louisville Global Services Center office opened in November 2016, our people have given over 2,500 hours in Citizenship and raised thousands of dollars in donations.
Every two years, Hogan Lovells selects a local and a global charity partner. Our current “Touch” global partner (“Touch” is the firm’s way to describe our primary charity partner, either locally or globally) is Barefoot College, a charity started in India in the early 1970s, which provides programs and initiatives to empower women living in impoverished rural environments to reach their potential and to shape communities.
Boys & Girls Haven
Here in Louisville, our current “Touch” partner is Boys & Girls Haven, a nonprofit providing abandoned, abused, and neglected teenagers with refuge, stability, education, and life skills that lead to success in adulthood.
Aaisha Hamid, a Hogan Lovells Conflicts Analyst Assistant, says that one of the factors that initially drew her to the firm was its comprehensive commitment to Citizenship. Hamid coordinates one of Hogan Lovells’ Boys & Girls Haven projects and volunteer programs. “What I love about Boys & Girls Haven is its commitment to housing, mentoring, and educating the marginalized youth in our society most in need of this support system,” she says. “I feel blessed to be part of a firm that is so invested in civic engagement and philanthropic work.”
Since last September, Hamid has coordinated with charity staff to schedule monthly renovation and beautification projects. Hogan Lovells has also conducted internal fundraising events such as jeans days, bake sales, a mini-marathon, and chili-cook offs, with all funds matched by the firm.
Two major projects completed at Boys & Girls Haven in 2017 with Hogan Lovells’ help were the Mayor’s Week of Service and the complete refurbishment of a recreation room at the Boys Cottage. Rebekah Farley, Philanthropy and Donor Relations Liaison at the charity, says “Hogan Lovells’ sponsorship enabled us to expand our capacity. They brought 50 to 70 volunteers, in-kind donations, and fed the more than 200 volunteers on campus for the event. They brought their minds, too. They coordinated the entire project from a creative standpoint to the decorations to what actually went in the rooms.”
Beyond Boys & Girls Haven, Hogan Lovells supports a number of other nonprofits in the area, including manning weekly shifts at the Dare to Care warehouse, working with the Animal Care Society, as well as supporting Wellspring, a mental health recovery facility that provides housing and psychiatric rehabilitative services.
Anita Block, Administrative Assistant at Hogan Lovells, has coordinated a variety of activities with Wellspring. These include a holiday donation drive, a clean-up day at Wellspring’s residential site, and an annual volunteer commitment for Derby Preview Party at Churchill Downs, Wellspring’s largest annual fundraiser.
Block said she could discern the company’s charitable culture was different from day one. “This is not just any employer, or any job,” she says. “Working for an organization that really cares about people – that talks the talk and walks the walk – makes my heart smile.”
Junior Compliance Analyst Alex Chumbley said he’s also been impressed with the heart exhibited by Hogan Lovells employees. “There’s an incredible willingness to help out,” he said. “When we ask, we always have more employees than we need.” Chumbley worked with colleague Kyle Sutherland, a Marketing Technology Assistant, to coordinate a professional clothing drive for the clients at Family Scholar House (FSH).
The two also filmed instructional videos for FSH demonstrating how to tie a tie, how to prepare for interviews and dress professionally, and also organized a Speed Mentoring event. For this, Hogan Lovells people rotated every five or ten minutes between different FSH clients. “We talked about whatever the clients wanted, “said Chumbley. “I was incredibly impressed by the way they handled themselves. I can’t imagine juggling the things that they do while also working towards bigger goals. This kind of Citizenship work helps them and helps us to keep perspective on our own lives,” he says.