Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Minnesota Keystone Featured Member - July 2016
This month’s featured member is Dorsey & Whitney LLP.
Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is a Dorsey & Whitney core value. We do it through charitable donations by the Firm and by the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. We do it through our commitment to pro bono service to those who otherwise could not afford legal counsel. And we do it through the other volunteer efforts of our lawyers and staff.
Dorsey has been committed to community since the Firm’s founding in Minneapolis in 1912. Today, our lawyers and staff span the United States, Canada, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and our commitment has spread to communities around the world.
Dorsey has been a Minnesota Keystone Member since 1989. Membership in Minnesota Keystone is a way we can lead by example. Many of our clients are also Minnesota Keystone members. By continuing to demonstrate our leadership in community service, our clients know we share their values. Client relationships are built on trust. Shared values instill trust and help grow important relationships.
Although the specific individuals and organizations we support in the Twin Cities may change somewhat each year, the principal facets of our giving remain the same:
- Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. Founded in 1982 and funded by contributions from the Firm’s partners, the Foundation contributes to a wide variety of non-profit organizations in Minnesota and makes a significant annual gift to the Greater Twin Cities United Way (GTCUW).
- Other Firm Giving. The Firm itself also supports a wide range of charitable, civic and arts groups in the Twin Cities through donations and sponsorships. The Firm also runs an annual Community Giving Campaign in which lawyers and staff are encouraged to give individually to the GTCUW and Community Health Charities. Additionally, the Firm has provided conference space, meals, technical support and parking for the training of GTCUW Ambassadors and Agency Executives over the years.
- Pro bono legal services. Dorsey has met the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge every year since the Challenge was created in 1993 by contributing over 3% of billable hours to qualifying Challenge pro bono work. In recent years, the Firm has consistently contributed more than 4% of billable hours and sometimes reached 5%. Pro bono work ranges from legal clinics to asylum work for refugees fleeing persecution in their own countries to appellate work on capital cases to advising non-profits.
- Other volunteer work. Dorsey’s Volunteer Council provides numerous opportunities for lawyers and staff to participate in community events and contribute to the improvement of our communities outside the workplace. The Firm provides staff one paid Volunteer Day per year. Dorsey lawyers also offer their time to a wide range of non-profits through board service.
In 2015, Dorsey’s combined giving, pro bono and volunteer work had a dollar value exceeding 8.6% of pre-tax profits.
There are thousands of Dorsey giving stories to tell. One that is dear to the hearts of lawyers and staff in the Twin Cities is our work with Merrick Community Services. Each December since 1989, the Minneapolis office has shared holiday cheer with Merrick Community Services in East St. Paul by donating gifts and money to families in need. Lawyers and staff band together in groups to connect with specific families, so the donations are very need-specific and personal. Dorsey groups deliver the gifts and food directly to the families and get to see what a difference their contributions make. Dorsey was the first recipient of the Merrick Community award in recognition of our long commitment to that community.