June 08, 2023
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Weil Foundation, whose charitable contributions, along with those of the Firm, have totaled more than $120 million since 1983. As one of the first major law firms to establish a comprehensive corporate social responsibility program, Weil has mobilized attorneys and administrative staff across our offices globally to ultimately help bring about social change and facilitate life-changing impacts in the communities in which we live and work.
Over the last four decades, the foundation has contributed support to some of the most effective and innovative nonprofit and community-based organizations in the U.S. Our social responsibility program has also showcased its commitment to philanthropy through various initiatives, such as:
- Direct Support: Weil has partnered with and contributed directly to some 200 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations annually, including the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, AIDS Walk, Central Park Conservancy, Delivering Good, Equal Justice Works, God’s Love We Deliver, Immigration Equality, Innocence Project, PENCIL, Read Alliance, Tahirih Justice Center, United Way of New York City, and Vibrant Emotional Health.
- Weil Legal Innovators Program: Weil Legal Innovators (WLI) is a multi-stakeholder philanthropic initiative which engages rising law school students in addressing some of the most pressing social and legal challenges. Innovators work at leading nonprofit organizations, such as the Tahirih Justice Center, Earthwatch Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and American Civil Liberties Union, among others, for a one-year paid fellowship program prior to beginning their law school careers. Since WLI launched in 2020, Weil has invested over $1 million annually for this flagship public service and has had a total of 40 innovators that have worked with various nonprofits through the program.
- Community Engagement: Weil was one of the first law firms to implement a comprehensive community engagement program, including cause-related events and volunteer opportunities for all U.S. attorneys and administrative staff, taking place both during and outside work hours.
- Volunteer Time Off: Since 2017, Weil provides U.S.-based attorneys and admin staff with an additional day of paid time off each year that can be used for volunteer service, for the benefit of an approved U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization.
- Weil Scholarship Program: The program awards up to $10,000 per student toward higher education expenses for dependent children of Weil U.S.-based administrative staff on an annual basis. Since its founding in 1992, 106 scholarships totaling nearly $550,000 have been awarded to dependent children of Weil administrative staff.
- Nonprofit Board Service: Weil has 100+ attorneys and staff across the United States currently serving on nonprofit governing boards. Their service is based on a deep commitment to public service and giving back, offering their time, talents and leadership to help organizations make sound decisions, which in turn helps the organizations make a stronger impact in the work they are doing.
- The Summer of Service program of 2020, created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on communities and nonprofits that serve them, was developed for the second half of the Weil Summer Associate Program: some 130 summers from across our U.S. offices were matched and placed as loaned volunteers at 50 nonprofit organizations for a four-week period.
- Social Responsibility + Weil Foundation are one of the four pillars of good corporate citizenship at the firm. The others include Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Health & Well-Being and Pro Bono, further highlighting Weil’s commitment to supporting positive social, economic and environmental outcomes throughout the communities where we live and work.
Similarly, in London, Weil’s ESG Community Committee developed Improving Lives & Raising Aspirations, an initiative aimed at addressing some of the most challenging issues that blight society: rising homelessness, entrenched poverty and stagnant social mobility. Since December 2018, the program has supported six U.K. charities that help vulnerable people get their lives back on track, while raising contributions to help these charities grow and expand their work.
These programs and contributions demonstrate what it means to be an outstanding corporate citizen, while further exemplifying how philanthropy and stewardship have always been part of the fabric of our Firm since its inception. Weil’s deep-rooted commitment to these efforts has unmistakably expanded over the last four decades and will continue to grow furthermore.