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Contributing to CSR as a Trainee

29 March 2023

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Lewis Silkin is all about the impact the firm has on the world around us. The approach to CSR at Lewis Silkin is one that truly reflects the firm’s values of bravery and kindness, and takes a variety of forms. As a trainee, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in from day one!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

One of the many CSR objectives of the firm, is to promote visibility and representation across Lewis Silkin and this is done through our diversity groups. Trainees are welcome and encouraged to join any of the diversity groups, which include: Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Social Mobility, Lewis SilkOut, Disability and Wellbeing, Interfaith and Age.

Involvement in these could include joining monthly meetings where the group work towards set objectives, organising and helping to plan events, celebrating diverse celebrations and holidays, and attending book clubs.

I recently was involved in the planning of the Race and Ethnicity group’s first live panel event, ‘Breaking Barriers’. The aim of the event was to gain insight and a better understanding of tangible ways to improve the recruitment, progression and retention of black professionals within private practice. It was rewarding to see such a great turn out and engagement from the firm!

Social Impact

Lewis Silkin’s social impact work is all about empowering people and improving lives. There’s a strong focus on raising aspirations and improving outcomes for disadvantaged young people. We have a reading scheme at local primary schools, virtual career workshops with school and college students, a mentoring scheme and a ‘cold spot’ outreach programme where we deliver presentations to secondary school students about careers in law. These activities definitely encourage trainees out of their comfort zones, but also make a difference in the lives and experiences of those we meet!

Lewis Silkin also partners with a chosen charity to host events and fundraise throughout the year for. Each year, members of the firm are invited to nominate a charity to partner with, and all members vote for shortlisted charities to be our chosen charity of the year (currently our charity partner is Alzheimer’s Research UK). A memorable part of my trainee experience has been organising the yearly Firmwide Fundraiser which involves active participation from all trainees. Previous fundraising activities have involved a LS Silkathon, an Olympic-style day of games and activities, quiz nights, Pie-a-Partner and most recently, a hike through the Brecon Beacons.

Pro bono

Many lawyers across Lewis Silkin offer time and support to pro-bono clients and this is an area that trainees are encouraged to get involved in. Some of the recent projects that teams have been actively involved in are, helping those facing the death penalty in the US, helping challenge laws that persecute people on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and ad hoc Ukraine pro bono projects.

During my time at the firm, I’ve attended pro bono clinics and have offered pro bono commercial legal advice to a charity, who offer free courses aimed at school leaving age groups with ambitions to gain entry level roles in the Marketing, Advertising and Communications industries.


Lastly, if you’re interested in actively supporting Lewis Silkin’s commitment towards climate change, there’s a Responsible Business and Sustainability Group who welcome active trainee participation. To give you an insight into the group’s initiatives, the current London office have beehives installed on its roof, which preserves ecosystems and biodiversity. There’s also a zero-landfill policy in our London, Oxford, Cardiff and Belfast offices, with a conscious effort to continually seek to reduce waste in all Lewis Silkin’s offices.

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