Burges Salmon – Responsible Business Champion: Education

The Burges Salmon ‘Working with Schools’ Programme.

The Education Partnerships Award

Young people are the future of Burges Salmon. Its ‘Working with Schools’ Programme aims to break down barriers into the legal profession and improve social mobility by developing confidence, essential skills and the career aspirations of young people.

We recognise that young people are the future of our business, client-base and community. I am delighted to have seen our programme go from strength to strength.

Chris Seaton, Senior Partner

Societal impacts

In terms of meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Burges Salmon has:

  • UN SDG: Quality Education – enhanced access to primary and secondary education, equalling access to higher education, upskilling young people, teachers and school leaders, literacy, numeracy and scholarship provision.
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities – enabled diversity, inclusion, equal opportunities and reducing wealth disparities through social mobility.
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth – contributed to youth employment, providing decent employment opportunities and inclusive economic productivity. At least 50% of places on its work experience programme are allocated to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Business impacts

Burgess Salmon has:

  • Provided engagement and personal development of its people – evidenced by feedback from its volunteers, inclusion of community engagement in its People Strategy linked to learning and development and its skills framework, analysis of its People Engagement Survey.
  • Provided business connections and client collaboration – evidenced by the joint participation of a number of clients in its ‘Working with Schools’ programme and interest expressed in what it is doing as part of client tenders and pitches.
  • A positive reputation – evidenced by the positive feedback it receives from community collaborations, its reputation in the city of Bristol and interest in its corporate communications including social media and press releases. Further linked to the attraction of talent, particularly trainee lawyers. In 2019 it was delighted 62% of its people participated in at least one form of volunteering. In the People Survey, 79% reported that they were satisfied in the opportunities to participate in its corporate responsibility programme and 82% reported they were satisfied with the quality and variety of the corporate responsibility programme.

“Responsible business is one of our strategic priorities and our ‘Working with Schools’ Programme is a key component to drive social mobility and inclusivity. We invest dedicated resource with our CR team, budget, volunteering hours and in-kind support. We value the benefits in terms of the engagement and development of our people, talent attraction, innovative thinking, reputation and business connections. We recognise that young people are the future of our business, client-base and community. I am delighted to have seen our programme go from strength to strength. We have built a portfolio of long-term and strategic collaborations in the education, career and community sectors that reaches more than 963 students. We bring students into a working environment and teach them skills, which are useful for any future career. Importantly it is breaking down perceived barriers into the legal profession which is critical for greater inclusivity,” Chris Seaton, Senior Partner.