Mayer Brown is a leader in developing innovative approaches to pro bono work. We were the first major law firm to develop and implement a pro bono strategic plan and were among the first to integrate pro bono and training. We strive to pioneer projects that will have a substantial impact, both locally and globally. In 2010, our efforts were recognized by The Financial Times, which rated three Mayer Brown pro bono projects as among the most innovative in the United States.
The firm also encourages lawyers and staff to participate in all manner of community service activities. We take seriously our responsibility to the communities in which we live and work, and we are committed to being a good corporate citizen.
Mayer Brown strongly encourages every lawyer to participate in the pro bono program and provides credit for the hours they donate. In the United States, we are a signatory to the “Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge,” which commits us to devote 3 percent of total billable time to pro bono work. We are also a signatory to the “UK Joint Protocol on Pro Bono Work,” which stipulates that pro bono legal work must be carried out to the same standard as chargeable work.
The firm’s commitment to pro bono is evidenced in the structure that has been created to support the program. Our program is managed by three lawyers: two in the United States and one in the United Kingdom. These lawyers work closely with the Global Pro Bono Committee—which is made up of lawyers from every office and almost every practice—and with the firm’s local and regional pro bono committees to ensure a robust and diverse pro bono program.
Our Pro Bono Work
The guiding purpose of our program is to use the resources of one of the world’s largest law firms to attack systemic problems. We have formalized projects that allow us to maximize impact while still encouraging our lawyers to find individual cases and issues of importance to them.
Through our pro bono program, we not only help individuals to rebuild and restore their lives, we help to foster the industries and organizations that address the underlying issues and challenges. Some of the areas we cover are:
In addition to donating time, the firm regularly makes financial contributions to public and legal services organizations, and was among the first large law firms to integrate charitable giving and the pro bono program.
Our Community Service Work
Our lawyers and staff participate in community service activities around the world, often partnering with both public interest and private corporate clients in a variety of activities.
One of the crucial ways we fulfill our social responsibility is through supporting education-related programs and organizations. These include reading, mentoring, and clean-up initiatives in schools in and around London, New York, Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles.
In addition to serving on boards of directors of public service and civic organizations, our lawyers and staff in the United States, Europe and Asia also participate in programs to build homes, assist food banks, visit elderly centers, raise funds, and arrange donations of food, furniture and other items for community organizations.
What We Believe
We participate in pro bono and community service efforts around the world, believing them to be a critical component of our profession and an important factor in establishing our true excellence as a law firm.
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Paul would be my first choice in a merger or corporate acquisition transaction. Read more
Paul would be my first choice in a merger or corporate acquisition transaction.
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Bob is an excellent tax attorney, with many years of experience in the field. He is committed to his clients and provides excellent service. Read more
Bob is an excellent tax attorney, with many years of experience in the field. He is committed to his clients and provides excellent service.
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5.0/5.0 on 02/04/10
SHE IS GREAT. SHE HAS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT. Read more
SHE IS GREAT. SHE HAS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.
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They are a fine firm. They do good work. They are a good partner to work with. Read more
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Mayer Brown is committed to diversity because it is the right thing to do and because it makes sound business sense. Diversity broadens our knowledge and skills, heightens our awareness of and sensitivity to cultural issues and equips us to respond to the challenges of serving a clientele that spans the globe. Diversity is a hallmark of Mayer Brown heritage and will be a key driver of our future success.
|At Mayer Brown, we view the attainment of diversity at all levels of our organization as crucial to, and a natural result of, building a cohesive, successful law firm. We recruit, develop and promote the highest caliber lawyers and are committed to providing our lawyers with opportunities to realize their potential regardless of race, religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.|
Inclusion begins with opportunity. We continue to seek innovative and effective ways to increase the number of diverse students interested in law school and to recruit diverse law students and lateral candidates. By engaging law schools and colleges directly, Mayer Brown builds programs for students at all levels of higher education to increase the pool of lawyers from diverse backgrounds. We also ensure that all our associates are provided challenging work experiences and the guidance necessary for success. We strive to keep all of our lawyers active, engaged and on the road to partnership in the firm and encourage them to make a meaningful contribution to the profession. By investing in the skills and abilities of all our lawyers, we create a wide variety of role models for the generations to follow.
Mayer Brown handles many of the most important cases and transactions for the largest companies in the world, and we consider our diversity efforts critical to the level of service we provide to our clients. Clients recognize diversity and inclusion as business imperatives critical for success in our multicultural world. To remain a world-class law practice, we must continue our push forward in these vital areas.
Our commitment to the professional development and advancement of our diverse attorneys is central to our diversity and inclusion programs. We strive to create a culture in which all our attorneys can thrive and advance. The Firm sponsors attendance at numerous external networking and educational conferences, such as:
The retreats have provided our lawyers from all of our U.S. offices with the opportunity to interact over the course of a weekend. The retreats have been a great success. The lawyers networked with one another while gaining valuable career advice from minority partners and senior associates. The retreats also give our associates the opportunity to meet with the leaders of the Firm, as well as allowing each to give suggestions and guidance as to how the Firm's recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers could be improved. The Firm uses the wealth of knowledge and insight gathered and shared at the retreats to inform our diversity efforts.
Members of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion host, in each office, periodic sessions with lawyers to share information about our diversity efforts and solicit ideas and comments regarding ongoing events and future initiatives. In addition, minority lawyers meet informally to provide ongoing opportunities for building relationships within the firm.
Women's Symposiums are hosted every other year for all female lawyers. These include workshops, panel discussions, networking receptions and presentations led by our female partners and leaders from the legal and business community. We are actively focused on opportunities to raise the visibility of our female lawyers, supporting their development through leadership conference participation, skill development programs and mentoring. We provide business development programs focused on issues unique to women attorneys and have held numerous networking events for our female attorneys and clients. In the past year, for example, our women attorneys have hosted women clients at a luncheon and private museum tour, a chamber music concert performed by female musicians (who discussed the career challenges they faced as women in their field), wine tastings and theater performances. We have partnered with the women’s groups of several clients for networking events and educational workshops. These programs have facilitated building relationships between our women lawyers and our clients, providing focused opportunities for our women lawyers not only to learn about our clients’ needs, but also to showcase their own talents. Each office hosts programs focusing on women’s professional development issues and periodic informal lunches for female lawyers to cultivate and strengthen relationships.
Family-friendly programs offered to Mayer Brown’s US lawyers include: part-time work opportunities; back-up child care service; paid leave of absences for new and adoptive parents, including up to 18 weeks for new mothers, and a coaching program to provide support to new parents returning to work from leave. The firm also offers up to 6 weeks paid leave for lawyers who need time to serve as a primary caregiver for elderly family members. In addition, Mayer Brown is a founding member and sponsor of the Project for Attorney Retention, which works to stem lawyer attrition at large firms by promoting work/life balance and the advancement of women in the legal profession.
Mayer Brown is committed to providing a thriving workplace for LGBT lawyers. We have provisions for same gender relationships in our domestic partner benefits program. We provide pro bono legal service for a number of LGBT-focused organizations as well as support for their organizational events. We participate annually in the Lavender Law Career Fair in order to increase the number of LGBT law student applicants to our summer associate program. The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion includes LGBT partners who monitor and push for progress in this important area.
Highlights and Achievements regarding LGBT rights issues at Mayer Brown include:
Mayer Brown is an equal opportunity employer and partnership. It is our policy to hire, train and promote lawyers without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, national origin, or veteran's status. The Firm seeks to hire, develop and advance lawyers on the basis of their professional ability and strives to build a team of lawyers that reflects the diversity of our world.
Mayer Brown is signatory to several statements of goals for increasing the recruitment and retention of minority lawyers and women, including The Association of the Bar of the City of New York's "Statement of Goals of New York Law Firms and Corporate Legal Departments for the Retention and Promotion of Women" and its "Statement of Diversity Principles," The Chicago Bar Association’s “Call to Action”, the Houston Bar Association's "Gender Initiative Commitment Statement" and the New York County Lawyers' Association "Statement In Support of Diversity In The Legal Profession.” By proudly signing these statements, Mayer Brown publicly affirms its commitment to a culture of inclusion.
Our London office is a signatory to the UK Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter and supports the legal sectors PRIME initiative which provides quality work experience to young people from socially deprived and under privileged backgrounds.
Building for the Future
Diversity and inclusion are important keys to securing the future success of the Firm. Legal cultures that welcome and accept differences are the most successful in creating an environment where diverse attorneys thrive. The Firm's inclusion initiatives not only appeal to partners and the clients they interact with, they also attract bright young associates and college and high school-level interns who are encouraged by the dynamic, welcoming environment we provide. Through our various workshops, panel discussions, conferences, and events, and partnership with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), as well as through our diversity-related sponsorships and giving, we are building a bridge to an exciting, diverse future.
Law Schools, Colleges & High Schools
Through conferences, job fairs, panel discussions, and workshops, we make the legal profession less abstract and more familiar and accessible to students of all backgrounds. Providing the "nuts-and-bolts" of what lawyering is about helps students make informed career decisions and puts them on the path to professional success.
The scope and range of events that we are involved with demonstrate our desire to build diversity in as many ways as possible. Participating in special events that target specific groups is an effective way to build interest in our firm and to expand our culture of inclusion.
Through the sponsorship of law-related groups and events, we provide vital support to those who have made diversifying the legal world their central goal. These partnerships enable us to build lasting relationships with minority and female students and student groups while also sharing our own expertise during sponsored events and discussions.
Some examples of the organizations and events to which the Firm has donated are as follows:
Our outreach program is not restricted to young lawyers and students interested in the law. We are directly involved in the communities where our offices are located. We use our resources to strengthen educational and cultural institutions and to assist groups, associations and agencies that are already working for the good of our local communities.
Chicago Government & Global Trade partner Mary Richardson-Lowry has been named one of 50 “Women of Excellence” by the Chicago Defender, the leading daily newspaper serving Chicago’s African-American community. The award acknowledges and celebrates African-American women who personify the exemplary qualities of respect, responsibility, passion, sisterhood and leadership. Mary also was named president of the Chicago Board of Education earlier this year.
Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Mary Richardson-Lowry as a member of the Chicago Board of Education and recommended to the Board that she be named President, which she was. See http://www.cps.edu/News/Press_releases/Pages/01_28_2010_PR1.aspx
LAW360 described Britt Miller as someone “With a reputation as a creative and thoughtful strategist” in designating her one of LAW360’s Ten Competition Lawyers under 40. See http://competition.law360.com/articles/157892
Steve Sanders, a Supreme Court & Appellate associate in the Chicago office, argued his first case before the Supreme Court this week. In Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, Sanders went up against former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who has argued in front of the Court 51 times. Sanders represented Pottawattamie County and two of its former prosecutors who were sued for falsifying evidence after two men were deemed wrongly convicted in the murder of a retired Iowa police officer. In his argument, Sanders claimed the Constitution only guarantees the plaintiffs the right to a fair trial, not a fair investigation, and that the prosecutors are immune from any suit claiming they knowingly introduced false testimony in trial. To read news coverage about the case and Sanders’ first argument, click here.
Donna Morgan was named to the Top 10 Women List of Leading Women Consumer Lawyers in Illinois by Leading Lawyers Network. Additional lawyers listed in either the Top 100 Women of Leading Lawyers and/or the Top 100 Business Lawyers in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network are Fern Bomchill, Debora de Hoyos, Rebecca Eisner, Sheila Finnegan, Michele Odorizzi and Mary Richardson-Lowry.
Mayer Brown LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that 123 of its attorneys are ranked in the 2009 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, including 32 who achieved top-band ranking or higher in 26 national and/or state categories.
The 2009 edition of the Chamber USA ranks 14 women partners from Mayer Brown. The partners, their areas and band ranking are:
Washington, DC partner Marcia Madsen has been named one of the “Attorneys Who Matter” in the field of corporate compliance by The Ethisphere Institute, an international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. Honorees were chosen for their work in advancing the cause of ethics and corporate compliance.
Chicago partner Mary Richardson-Lowry, chairman of Mayer Brown's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, will be a speaker on the opening panel at the 2009 conference for The Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Law & Business on March 4th in Atlanta. The panel will discuss the value of understanding the intricacies and politics of a law office, navigating diversity issues, the power of networking and the importance of law firm economics. The two-day event helps women of color attorneys develop critical skills necessary to become leaders in their field and provides networking and mentoring opportunities with other successful professionals.