Our CSR efforts
Our Lexcel report (October 2014) has acknowledged that Corporate Social Responsibility "is taken seriously" by our firm. We have created a CSR Committee, with a specific brief aimed at focusing and increasing our efforts in this area.
The CSR Committee is responsible for organising and implementing a busy calendar of activities, which are open to everyone in the firm and often financially supported by the business.
One example of such activities is the Leeds Law Society Education Week, which aims to raise the aspirations of pupils from deprived areas. Feedback from participants is always very positive. As one colleague put it: “I had an amazing day. It was wonderful to see kids from deprived social backgrounds enjoying their school days to the full. I was amazed to see that, whilst funding was obviously an issue, the atmosphere throughout the school was one of consideration, happiness, safety and love. These are the sort of school days that I would have really appreciated during my formative years. It was an absolute pleasure to spend a day there, and I came away having learnt quite a few things myself.”
We also hold an annual dress down/bake sale day for Children in Need, and are part of the Leeds Community Foundation's 100 Club, a patronage scheme whose members care passionately about Leeds and want to invest in a better future for the city.
Our colleagues are also doing their bit on an individual basis. Many of them are involved in mentoring, or doing pro-bono work for various not-for-profit and charitable organisations.
Our 'Charity of the Year'
This year, our chosen charity is the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Established in 2000, the YAA is an independent organisation that provides a life-saving rapid response emergency service to 5 million people across Yorkshire.
Amongst the activities we usually undertake for our 'Charity of the Year' are:
- A Clothes Drop Day, during which clothes are collected to be either sold in charity shops or distributed in poorer countries
- A Tea Party, in conjunction with Starbucks, involving the sale of coffee, tea and a selection of delicious bakes
- Various physical activities, such as the Great Yorkshire Stair Climb or the Leeds 10k run
Throughout the year, we also hold a dress-down day every last Friday of the month, for a voluntary contribution from colleagues for the benefit of our chosen charity.
In September 2016, we held our first-ever Shulmans Charity Ball, at the Marriott Hotel in Leeds, where we raised just over £1,300.
Green initiatives at Wellington Place
Part of the appeal of moving to Wellington Place in June 2014 was its strong environmental agenda. Construction materials and methods at the site were carefully vetted, and technology is being used to monitor and reduce energy consumption and waste. An easy-to-implement recycling policy has been established around the building, and the site includes cycle pods, urban gardens, and facilities for free bicycle rides and car-sharing.
We encourage colleagues to use alternative methods of transport, not only to come to work but also to circulate in and around Leeds.
For those wishing to rent a car from the Leeds’ City Car Club (which offers local car rental by the hour), vehicles can be picked up at various locations throughout the city centre, including our own car park at Wellington Place. Members of the City Car Club can also access discounted annual public transport tickets through Metro.
The site also has a secure-by-design, Streetpod cycle storage unit that can be used by cyclists to secure their bikes.