Foley & Lardner inks national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs

Students at the Jeff and Penny Vinik Boys and Girls Club in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Octavio Jones
  • Agreement includes three-year financial donation
  • Firm ties to local Boys & Girls Clubs have included local leadership, pro bono work

RALEIGH, NC, July 6 (Reuters) - Foley & Lardner said Wednesday that it is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America on a national scale, supporting the organization's mission and promoting volunteerism and diversity.

The partnership, which includes a donation for an undisclosed amount spread over the three years, will connect Foley's 21 U.S. locations to local Boys & Girls Clubs for initiatives such as mentoring, read-aloud programs, school supply drives and playground improvement projects.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a national organization that provides after-school care to under-served elementary, middle and high school students. The non-profit boasts more than 4,000 clubs in the U.S. with a mission to promote "safe, positive and inclusive environments for all," according to its website.

Foley chairman and CEO Jay Rothman said the firm began to brainstorm potential community partners following the 2020 racial justice protests. The BGCA was ideal given its existing local partnerships with the firm and Foley's history of handling pro bono work for the organization, he said.

Transactional partner Mike Lappin, who joined the firm in February, is a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. Erika Alba, Foley's director of public affairs, is the former chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida.

The firm provided pro bono assistance to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee in revamping its internal governance documents. Lawyers and staff in Chicago last week volunteered with a Boys & Clubs Club on the west side of the city, making summer aquatics kits for students.

H Walker, the BGCA's diversity, equity and inclusion officer, called the arrangement a win-win for Foley and the group's local clubs.

"I believe that the attorneys involved are going to leave feeling as engaged and feeling good about their learning as the youth that they are touching," Walker said.

Foley's Rothman said he envisions the partnership will extend beyond three years.

"There are a lot of great organizations out there, but from our perspective, we can now do this on a national scale," Rothman said. "There are affiliated clubs in each of the cities in which we have offices and the DE&I approach that the Boys and Girls Club has is absolutely consistent with what our mission."

He said lawyers and professional staff won't get credits or incentives for participating in volunteer events with their local BGCs.

"We have a long history of people giving back without being incentivized," Rothman said. "They do it because it's the right thing."

Read more:

Cravath donates $6 mln to Fisk University, civil rights groups

Law firms donate to racial justice orgs amid protests over policing

Reporting by Arriana McLymore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.