Collective Social Responsibility is not just a way of acting; it’s a way of thinking. We see our relationship with society and the environment as an opportunity to create shared value. While making a difference in society, we also create a better workplace. As a firm, we are inspired by the many stories of how our volunteer efforts and financial support benefit people in our communities. In the end, our people get as much from our activities as the organizations we support. We are recognized as a leader and innovator amongst Canadian law firms in the field of CSR (Collective Social Responsibility). Our people are concerned citizens who enjoy giving back. Together, we focus on developing ongoing partnerships with community organizations that do amazing work, often despite limited resources and public awareness. As a firm, we have the ability to respond with contributions of time and monetary support, and our people give generously of their skills and effort. These relationships reveal what we have to offer as a team, but also what we can learn through the power of giving and engaging.
CSR at McInnes Cooper includes:
We enjoy working with organizations whose impact is felt at the roots of a community, both locally and beyond our borders. Every year, we support hundreds of organizations across Atlantic Canada and beyond. Imbedded in our CSR work is the principle of volunteerism. We encourage our people to become involved with the organizations we support as a firm, and with causes that reflect their individual values. Throughout the region, we partner on an ongoing basis with a small number of community organizations that have inspired our members. In partnership with our Recruitment team, we also offer our Articled Clerks the law students the opportunity to create their own CSR projects. And to show how much we value our volunteers, we created a Volunteer Support Program that tangibly recognizes their personal efforts. When any member of the firm volunteers with a registered charity and contributes 40 or more hours annually, the firm will make an annual contribution of $500 to that organization. These initiatives are a start, not an end. But with the enthusiasm of our people, the support of our community partners and the help of our dedicated full time CSR Coordinator, we will continue to make a difference.
Read more about Careers at McInnes Cooper
Pro Bono Legal Services
Through our Pro Bono Program, we provide legal counsel to disadvantaged people and organizations that have difficulty gaining access to justice on matters of public interest. For example, in 2012, we provided services to a Canadian Forces veteran who was severely disabled in the line of work. The client had been denied a special allowance by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, against which we argued successfully. The Crown agreed that the Board’s interpretation of the Pension Act was unjust, thus setting a precedent for similar claims. “I could not have gone through this without your support and help – I wish there was more I could say than thank you…This means a new start for me and with far less stress in my life, so you’ve done a great thing.” – Diane Martin, Pro Bono Client. We also provided pro bono legal services to Hope Blooms, a youth led community garden and salad dressing business that is fundamentally reshaping the community of North End Halifax. And we’ve been assisting the Carrot Community Co-op on a number of legal matter as well. In 2013, our firm signed a partnership agreement with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) to secure the first option to carry pro bono files in Atlantic Canada. A client service team of 32 lawyers supports the CCLA. McInnes Cooper signed agreements with the Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia and the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada to assist newcomers with limited means. In 2015 McInnes Cooper launched an exciting new pro bono partnership with CEED NS, a non-profit organization that promotes the benefits of entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia.
Like any large organization, our operations leave a footprint on the environment. From paper use and waste production to transportation and energy consumption, we continually look for opportunities to minimize that impact. As a law firm, it is no surprise that copy paper is the single greatest source of waste produced by our offices. To address this, we set all of our printer defaults to automatically print double sided. We also know that one-quarter of our carbon footprint is linked to the commuting practices of our members. We offer our employees subsidized transit passes and memberships to CarShare. In Nova Scotia, we are taking part in the Metro Transit EPass program, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing employees with discounted annual bus passes. All of our offices are equipped with technology that allows us to connect internally or externally with clients through online meetings, reducing the need for business travel. We also enjoy taking part in community volunteer events such as McNabs Island Shore Cleanup, Clean Sweep Halifax and St. John’s Clean and Beautiful. When the solution isn’t obvious, we come up with creative remedies. In Fredericton, where property managers are not required to provide recycling services, our office members proactively coordinated with cleaning staff to have them remove and recycle our waste. We have recently signed on as early adopters of the CBA Law Office Sustainability Challenge. We plan to use the toolkit to identify further opportunities for improvement. Other ways our firm supports being green:
- Energy efficient and motion sensitive lights
- Reusable dishes and cutlery in place of plastic cutlery and paper plates
- Elimination of Styrofoam products
- Use of environmentally certified cleaning products
- Reduced availability of bottled water by serving tap water in meetings
- Recycling bins for paper, plastic, compost, batteries, old cell phones, and cartridges
- Waste management guidelines for sorting waste left in meeting rooms
Diversity & Inclusion
We recognize that our individual differences make us a stronger, more adaptable law firm. We embrace these differences and give all of our members the opportunity to develop their unique skills and talents. We work proactively to create an inclusive work environment with equal opportunities. The principles of diversity and inclusion are embedded in our Human Resource and Recruitment practices. We have also established a Diversity Council, made up of senior firm leadership, as well as a Diversity Advisory Committee made up of lawyers and staff to help ensure that all members and clients of McInnes Cooper feel welcome and respected. We are, in particular, committed to enabling and celebrating the professional excellence of female lawyers. As a founding firm of the Justicia Project of the Law Society of Upper Canada, we actively participate in a dialogue about the retention and advancement of women lawyers in private practice. In addition, we support causes that support diversity and inclusion in the community. We regularly support cultural events that showcase the traditions of minority populations. We have hired employees through work placement programs such as the Prescott Group Community Employment program and the New Brunswick Association of Community Living, and we support organizations such as reachAbility and Special Olympics.
Keep up with us on Facebook
Like our dedicated CSR Facebook page for updates on our team’s community involvement.
- Visit and like our Facebook page