We are committed to making a meaningful contribution to our local communities by encouraging our staff to volunteer their time for activities which allow them to share their skills and experience for the benefit of local charitable initiatives. Staff can apply to take up to one week per year out of their working hours for these volunteering initiatives, often in support of charity clients of the firm.
Every year our staff nominate a variety of charities to support by way of regular dress down days. We also offer a payroll giving scheme (Give As You Earn) and have achieved a Silver Certificate for the charitable contributions to date. We were delighted to win Volunteering Team of the Year at the 2013 Scottish Business in the Community Awards, in recognition for our work on providing free legal advice and other support to Citizens' Advice Bureaux in East Lothian.
Shepherd and Wedderburn is a founder member of LawWorks Scotland, which has been established to co-ordinate, develop and encourage the provision of pro bono legal services by solicitors in private practice and in-house and university law schools in Scotland. We provide volunteers to LawWorks Scotland to assist in the running of legal clinics operated by Citizens Advice Bureau. The clinics not only provide valuable practical advice to CAB clients who would otherwise not be able to access legal advice, but also give our staff a personally and professionally rewarding experience. Since August 2011, 94 Shepherd and Wedderburn volunteers have conducted more than 300 interviews.
We are a member of PRIME, the work experience commitment from the legal profession. PRIME was established through the collective view that an industry standard was required to ensure fair access to quality work experience for school-age students across the UK. By signing up to PRIME, we are committed to provide work experience placements for students from less advantaged backgrounds to find out how the legal profession works - not just the role of lawyers, but information and insights into other functions like Finance, IT, Human Resources, Marketing and Business Development - showing just how many different career paths are available. The initiative will be evaluated on an annual basis to ensure all the firms signed up are achieving what the set out to. More details can be found on the PRIME website: www.primecommitment.org
Shepherd and Wedderburn is proud to be a business partner of Pilotlight, a charity that brings together business professionals and charities to tackle disadvantage in our local communities. Pilotlight works with selected charities to help improve their performance and has supported over 300 charities and social enterprises across the UK in the last 10 years. Shepherd and Wedderburn has supported Pilotlight since 2012 by a number of our partners volunteering to provide support to the charities that they have been selected to work with. We aim to help those organisations address five key skill areas: analysis & planning, fundraising, financial management, staff/trustee performance and communications. By providing this free coaching to charities Pilotlight and Shepherd and Wedderburn aim together to help make the charities we work with more effective and sustainable.
Advocates for International Development (A4ID)
Shepherd and Wedderburn is a partner of Advocates for International Development (A4ID), a charity that empowers lawyers to use their skills to fight world poverty. In this capacity we have provided pro bono advice to Global Witness, the international NGO, on the European Convention of Human Rights and EU Treaty implications of Global Witness’ proposal of having robust transparency provisions in the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill.
Competition Pro Bono Scheme
Shepherd and Wedderburn is a founding member of the Competition Pro Bono Scheme. The scheme has been set up in collaboration with a number of leading UK competition practices in order to give free time and resources to individuals and businesses with competition law grievances who may not otherwise be in a position to instruct specialist advisers. Advice may be sought concerning the possible impact of the European Union Competition Rules and/or national Competition Law on business activities in the UK, or other parts of the European Economic Area. More information can be found here.
As part of our CSR programme we are supporting Give More, a campaign encouraging people to share their passions for the causes they care about, by making a public commitment to give more money, time or energy. We have agreed to support Give More through our CSR initiative encouraging everyone across the firm to support this and pledge their commitment to the campaign, which launched in April 2012.
University of Edinburgh
Shepherd and Wedderburn funded the first corporate Tercentenary Scholarship for the University of Edinburgh School of Law in 2007.
The Law Tercentenary Campaign marks the 300th anniversary of the first Chair in Law at Edinburgh and is part of the University of Edinburgh Campaign. The University aims to raise £4.1 million to fund Tercentenary Scholarships and Bursaries as well as a chair in Medical Jurisprudence, teaching fellowships, investment in the Law Library and a purpose built moot court facility.
Shepherd and Wedderburn is a partner in the Craigmillar Bursary Scheme, a programme designed to assist pupils in a disadvantaged area of Edinburgh in obtaining training, work experience or support towards a professional career in the property and construction industries.