The holiday season offers the perfect opportunity to give back to the community, regardless of your beliefs or religious affiliations. A lawyer of any level experience, whether starting out or practicing law for decades, can benefit from making connections in the community and the holiday season is no different. If you want to get involved this holiday season, but don’t know how to get started, here are some ideas:
Volunteer and Networking
As a lawyer, networking is important, especially if you are starting out and volunteering can help you make some important, long lasting connections. During the holiday season starting around Thanksgiving and straight on through the New Year, there are seemingly countless volunteering opportunities. When deciding how you’d like to help in your community, choose something that sparks your passion.
Food Banks & Soup Kitchens: Hunger is a daily, not just holiday, struggle for millions of Americans. Consider volunteering at a food bank or serving a holiday meal at your local soup kitchen. Not only will it help you make connections with potential clients who may benefit from pro bono work, but helping others can keep you feeling “grounded” when many of your colleagues may get caught up in money and materialism.
Toy and Winter Coat Drives: If you had a middle to upper class upbringing, you probably never knew what it was like to be without the things you wanted, let alone the things you needed. During the holiday season, in particular, children of all ages don’t receive a gift and they lack adequate winter clothing. Whether you have children or not, it’s easy to remember what it was like to be a kid and how much the little things mattered. Consider volunteering with an organization that provides gifts to children (and adults) or places that collect winter clothing, you may even have some extra winter gear that you could donate yourself.
Helping the Elderly: Have an elderly neighbor who can’t shovel his or her walk or want to help out more senior citizens in your community? The holidays can be a difficult time for windowed folks and older people who aren’t able to get out as much due to the weather. Visit nursing homes and senior centers or volunteer through an organization that offers rides, shovels snow, and other daily tasks.
When volunteering, you could potentially be making a connection with a future client (i.e. drawing up a will, etc.), but be careful how you present yourself. You don’t want to come across as only doing it for the work. It’s acceptable to carry a few business cards, but don’t hand them out to every person to which you make a connection.
Organizing Your Own Event
Organizing your own event is a great way to get some exposure and saves a bundle in advertising. Encourage clients to join you will ringing the bell for Salvation Army or set up a box in your office for food or other types of donations. By advertising on your social media page, you can inspire others to join you or to do their own volunteering throughout the community and take the time to think about others.