CSR as a profession was quite organic and serendipitous at the same time. I was working full time as our head of professional development and alumni relations, and I had become very active with the American Heart Association and Orange County’s United Way. I ran into Amanda Fowler from Edwards at an AHA Go Red for Women meeting, and it was quite a reunion as the last time I’d seen her, we were playing soccer together as young girls. I had breakfast with Amanda (who had been a CSR professional for a long time) and picked her brain about how a law firm might set up a successful CSR program. She gave me a beautiful framework to think about.
After that, I met with my COO, pitched the idea to him, drafted an 18-page blueprint of what our program would look like, and we were off to the races. It is a source of pride to be one of the first law firms to truly embrace CSR and it’s exciting to see so many law firms now joining the effort. The rising tide floats all boats - at ACCP we share best CSR practices across law firms and it’s exciting to be a part of the evolution of CSR in the legal profession. We even started an ACCP industry group for Legal Professionals to have a forum for law firms and in-house legal department team members to share how we might work together on advancing our mutual CSR priorities.
It’s certainly an exciting (though challenging) time to be in this profession--and taking a strategic approach to CSR has never been more critical.