Social Responsibility: Diversity, Pro Bono & Community Involvement

Responsible citizenship encompasses many facets of how we live and work.  We understand that a diverse workplace enhances our ability to excel, not only as professionals, but also as productive members of our community.  For this reason, we are committed to promoting an inclusive and diverse firm culture, one that welcomes and encourages the contributions of men and women of varying ethnic backgrounds and social perspectives.

Citizenship, however, goes beyond our walls and honors our responsibility to give back to our communities.  Throughout our history we have been committed to the delivery of pro bono services and to the support of organizations that add value to each of our lives.  In addition to the organizations we name later, many of our attorneys devote time to charitable causes, municipal entities and non-profit organizations.

Similarly, we feel it is critical to donate our skills and time to the improvement of the profession and practice of law.  To that end, our attorneys participate in Inns of Courts in various areas of law, some as founders of the Inn, and many as officers of those Inns.  Inns of Court are the premier training and educational organizations for new lawyers, and a venue in which they can converse with and learn from members of the judiciary and leaders of the bar.

FIRM CULTURE

Our commitment to diversity can be seen foremost in our firm’s people.

Specifically, 30% of our members are women, as are 48% of our associates and 89% of our paralegals.  In addition, 13% of our associates and counsel are minorities.  Our administrative and support staff is made up of 73% women and 27% African American or Hispanic employees; 2% of our attorneys are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

In support of our ongoing commitment to an inclusive and diverse workforce, we encourage our legal recruiters to provide minority candidates for our open positions.  We also strive to provide an accommodating environment for working parents, allowing for flexible and part-time work schedules, and 13% of our employees work part-time.

PRO BONO ACTIVITIES

Throughout our history, bringing free legal advice to individuals and communities in need has been a priority.  Although we encourage all of our attorneys, from members to counsel to associates, to bring pro bono matters to the firm, we ask every associate/counsel to handle at least one pro bono matter each year.  During their annual evaluations, pro bono participation is an integral part of the process.

Volunteer Lawyers for Justice ("VLJ")

Our lawyers participate in VLJ, a program that provides free legal services to low-income adults, children and families in New Jersey to ensure fair and equal treatment within the legal system.  Legal services range from brief legal advice to full representation on a variety of civil legal issues, including debt collection litigation and estate planning for military veterans.  In addition to the time our lawyers spend doing this pro bono work, the firm makes monetary donations to this organization.

Habitat for Humanity

Our lawyers provide legal services to recipients of housing through Habitat for Humanity, an international, non-governmental and non-profit organization providing shelter to those in need.

Additional pro bono matters are approved on a case-by-case basis.  For example, Saiber lawyers have represented clients in domestic violence proceedings and landlord/tenant matters.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

StreetLaw, Inc.

StreetLaw, Inc. is a corporate legal diversity pipeline program that encourages minority high school students to consider a career in law at an early age.  Saiber has been involved with StreetLaw since 2007 visiting high schools, instructing students in various aspects of law and then coordinating a day-long program in which the students use the legal concepts they studied in the classroom playing the part of opposing lawyers in hypothetical legal cases.

Legal Services Foundation of Essex County

We make regular donations to this charitable and philanthropic arm of the Essex County Bar Association, which provides a wide variety of law related education services to the public at no charge.  Firm member David J. D’Aloia, Esq. is a Trustee of the Foundation.

Newark Regional Business Partnership

The firm is a member of the Newark Regional Business Partnership, which has a strong history of representing business and embracing diversity to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness.  Several firm members are active in this organization, and have presented programs during their Brown Bag Luncheon series.

Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center

The firm donates to the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center of Morristown, New Jersey, an organization providing nutritious meals in a warm, safe and caring environment to anyone who comes seeking nourishment.  The Center also encourages and assists people in accessing community resources, services and educational programs.