Lawyers who work at firms have to keep up their billable hours and log pro bono hours. They don’t have to do community service, but many do.
At Faegre Baker Daniels, Christine Page makes sure of it. The manager of community service for the firm’s 12 U.S. offices and London office, Page develops and manages a diversified array of firm-sponsored community service projects. For 10 years, she has been the firm’s liaison with nonprofit, public interest, charitable and other community organizations, coordinating current and potential community service projects.
Page’s vision of service encompasses a broad swath of the community: high school students, families of sick children, children in shelter care, homeless youth and adults, immigrants and people in work-readiness programs.
Rather than deploying lawyers and staff from Faegre to volunteer as mock job interviewers, the firm brings clients of Twin Cities RISE! to its offices. That way, firm attorneys and staff can work more interviews into tight job schedules, and program participants can practice their presentations, including answering tough questions about their past with a focus on the future. Talking with firm employees who have overcome challenges also bolsters their confidence, according to Page.
“They feel, ‘I can go do this anywhere,’” Page said. “Hopefully, it makes them feel a little bit more empowered.”