The 1st year Shoosmiths trainee challenge has returned and this year our focus is how the trainees might provide, under appropriate supervision, legal advice on a pro bono basis on matters relevant to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
After two successful wellbeing focused 1st year trainee challenges the 2017/2018 Shoosmiths trainee challenge centres on undertaking pro bono work related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and raising awareness in their local offices or involving other colleagues.
The 17 global priorities set an ambitious agenda for a better world by 2030 – fairer, safer, healthier, more prosperous and in better balance with nature, – were agreed by 193 countries and with business a vital player in their delivery. The goals have been described as the nearest thing to a global strategy.
Nicola Ellen, corporate responsibility consultant introduced the trainees to the challenge 15 September 2017 during a week-long induction programme. Nicola explained ‘we would like our 22 trainees this year to gain a better understanding of some of the real challenges faced by individuals and organisations unable to afford legal advice and highlighting the SDG goals as a way of thinking will show them that legal advisers throughout their careers are able to use their legal skills to really make a difference. Such help might come from volunteering at our pro bono clinics, by advising clients that come to us via brokered schemes such as the LawWorks Not-For-Profit or Business in the Community’s ProHelp programmes or simply by responding to individual approaches for help.
The trainees will spend time in the next few weeks researching how companies are addressing the SDGs and considering potential ways they might want to become involved as individuals or with other colleagues and so Charlene Birch, our graduate recruitment manager, and I are looking forward to learning their plans when we next meet on the 2 November 2017.’
In previous challenges the trainees have been advocates of different aspects of the Shoosmiths CR programme (including our national charity partners, highlighting how Shoosmiths is such a great firm to be part of, volunteering in the community and latterly the importance of wellbeing) and we hope with their support this year’s challenge will help colleagues across our offices to gain a greater appreciation of how business can use key skills and assets to make notable differences in tackling these global goals.