A&L Goodbody (ALG) is located in Dublin’s north east inner city (NEIC), an area identified as socially disadvantaged. Research has shown that underachievement in education and unemployment are two of the largest social issues in the community. Our community programme Step Up was created in 2013, focusing on increasing opportunities in our community through education and employment initiatives. It is particularly focused on supporting those most vulnerable to social exclusion. Supporting our communities is one of ALG’s six principles of responsible business and incorporates all aspects of support available from ALG. This includes pro bono legal advice, financial support and employee fundraising and volunteering.
Since 2013, ALG has worked in partnership with various community partners to develop and implement programmes which are measured and reviewed annually to ensure they are effective and fulfilling a need within the community.
Having strategic and meaningful partnerships with our community partners was a key objective when creating Step Up. We were conscious as a law firm, to support areas where we felt we had the best skills and resources.
Providing pro bono legal advice is central to how we support our community partners. We ask our lawyers to deliver at least 10 hours of pro bono advice annually. In addition, our people draw on their various skillsets to support the Step Up initiatives through delivery of presentations and workshops to TY students, volunteering as mentors for our work experience candidates and delivery of educational programmes to schoolchildren through Junior Achievement and Suas.
We recognise the need to work more collaboratively with other local corporates to provide work opportunities for people in our local community. We are now working closely with the NEIC programme and local corporates to create a TY work experience and summer work placement programme for young people.
ALG’s Step Up programme supports our local communities through a number of organisations including Suas, Junior Achievement, Career L.E.A.P., Trinity & DCU access programmes and Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID).
Since 2013, more than 500 volunteers from ALG have participated in educational support and mentoring programmes including literacy, numeracy and entrepreneurship with primary and secondary school pupils. ALG volunteers also deliver workshops and presentations to over 90 transition students as part of our Step In Experience programme annually. Since 2013, ALG volunteers have supported 3,900 young people through the Step Up programme.
ALG has facilitated five Career L.E.A.P. work placements to date and a graduate of the programme has recently joined ALG as a full-time employee. Additionally, we have welcomed five TCPID students for work placements and we have employed a graduate of TCPID as a full-time employee also.
A&L Goodbody provided €211,226 in cash donations; €2,177,304 was contributed through in-kind donations and €28,592 was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered 9,057 hours to local groups and projects during the year.