Pro bono work
Pro bono work, or using our skills for the greater good, has been a key part of the DNA of MD Communications since Melissa first put her name above the door.
The legal sector is a world we commit our time to understanding and promoting, and as part of this we enjoy working pro bono with organisations such as the International Bar Association, and The InterLaw Diversity Forum.
The Parents Promise
We are excited to announce that we are a founding partner, along with several big name organisations, of a new campaign ‘The Positive Parents Alliance’ which has launched to better protect the mental health of children, should their parents separate. Our CEO Melissa Davis was one of the creators of the campaign, which has been three years in the making, after witnessing far too often the damage that bad separation can cause children who are caught in the middle of parental conflict.
A coalition of at least 20 children’s mental health charities, separated parenting groups, relationship charities and other invested stakeholders have created ‘The Parents Promise’ to better protect children affected by family separation.
We want to change the culture around separation, both within families and in wider society. Within the legal sector, a community Melissa is hugely proud to be a part of, the ask is that we start treating all separating families with much greater compassion and make sure they have access to the support they need instead of being allowed to drift towards a family court system that too often creates division and makes co-parenting impossible.
We want there to be greater adult communication and child-centricity around separation, which includes discussion around how to co-parent after separation, when the parents are still together.
Melissa has signed the promise with her husband James for Jessica. We are asking every parent to make the Parents Promise today. Will you?
‘50/50 by 2030’ project
In March 2021 we were incredibly proud to announce we are the pro-bono PR partner for the IBA to get the message out about their gender project to achieve true gender parity in the legal industry. The IBA has spearheaded efforts to push the profession forward for many years and this project will finally root out the causes of sexism at the highest levels of the sector and provide a blueprint for change.
This is the biggest project in the legal space of its kind ever. It has real capacity to create change and momentum, so your support in sharing the launch of this initiative is wonderful.
Other campaigns and initiatives
We also support many initiatives and charities that help the legal sector to improve the lives of others – these include Only Mums & Dads, which supports parents when separating to put the mental health of their children first and encourages family law firms to be part of the solution. We were recently proud to help promote their latest 101 guide to separating. We also work with SEND Kids who are working with the legal sector to help improve the chances of families of Special Educational Needs children get the financial support that they are entitled to more quickly.
Other organisations we have enjoyed supporting include:
- The InterLaw Diversity Forum – founded by Daniel Winterfeldt QC (Hon), its mission is to foster inclusion for all diverse talent working in the legal sector, and to promote meritocracy in all sectors by working to ‘level the playing field’ in order to create environments where the best talent can succeed.
- The Deaf Law Centre – now sadly closed, this worked to ensure justice and equal access to the law and legal services through advice, representation, education and training for deaf people.
- Westminster Foundation for Democracy – the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. WFD works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make countries’ political systems fairer and more inclusive, accountable and transparent.
- Legal Charities Garden Party – a yearly event (until recently), with the first Garden party held in Gray’s Inn on 6 June 1968, which raises funds for charities which provide financial support for lawyers (and their dependents) who find themselves in need.
- London Legal Walk – the main event held yearly by the London Legal Support Trust, an independent charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in London and the South East. In 2019, 15,000 people walked through London raising money to support pro bono and advice agencies.
Festive video 2020
In Christmas 2020 we ran a fundraising campaign in support of Reverse Rett and Skylarks Charity. Reverse Rett is a UK medical research charity dedicated to changing the lives of children and adults with Rett Syndrome, and Skylarks is a local charity based in West London which has a vision to create a world where children with special needs can thrive.
At our annual party we normally celebrate with a host of international guests at the Club at The Ivy. But instead for 2020 we put together a video campaign hosted by Eduardo Reyes, Law Society Gazette Features Editor, from his home in Peckham, and Matt Byrne Deputy Editor of The Lawyer magazine, who usually fronts the band, contributing with some brilliant guitar playing.
Thank you to all our contributors to these videos, Moray McLaren, Daniel Goldberg, Joanna Goodman, Stephen Revell, Ekaterina Rozenbaum, Grzegorz E. Woźniak, Felicia Kemi Segun, Denise Laffont, Peter Taylor, Neil Montgomery and Chris Owen, Andrew Mackenzie, Matt Byrne, Christina Blacklaws, Gerald Schachner, Claudia Hong, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, Adam Sampson, Gerard McDermott – so many we met through the International Bar Association.
For every ‘like’ these social media posts received we donated £1 to the two charities, raising a total of over £2,000.
Meet the media event 2020
Our last physical event, the Meet the Media panel debate in February 2020, raised over £1,000 for Reverse Rett. The event was based around four journalists – The Independent’s Sean O’Grady, The Lawyer’s Matt Byrne, technology and business columnist Joanna Goodman and The Law Society Gazette’s Ed Reyes – who brought their century-plus of journalistic experience and the guests’ entrance fee went to the charity.