Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Benefits of Giving Back

By Stephanie Carman, Counsel, Investigations, White Collar and Fraud

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

It all started with a call from a law school friend asking if I would be interested in attending a Kids Club event. I inquired into the program and learned that Kids Club is a program of the Dade County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section (DCBA YLS) that organizes activities one Saturday a month for children in state care. Little did I know that this commitment of a few hours a month would become a key component in my professional development.

I fell in love with the program and became a committee member and, later, committee chair. I eventually became a board member of the DCBA and of its YLS, working my way up to President of the YLS. My commitment to giving back has since expanded to include our local Legal Services Program, the Alumni Council of my alma mater, Tufts University, and the Local Community Board of the American Diabetes Association.

Serving on various boards has expanded and strengthened my professional networks and provided me access to individuals and experience I may not have had. In my experience, the boards are positive, encouraging environments outside the office that allow me to learn and grow as I develop, plan, and implement new programs and solve challenges facing the organization.

By serving on these boards, I have consistently developed and strengthened my leadership, problem solving, and creative thinking skills. I have enjoyed each experience and have learned from others and gained mentors and friends. And, most importantly, I have been part of groups that have expanded opportunities and provided an immediate benefit for individuals in need. For example, our YLS Board established programs for veterans, at-risk youth, and the homeless, and we used local attorney talent and energy to organize and run the programs.

Overall, I believe that volunteering, whether one Saturday a month or by serving on a board, provides numerous professional and personnel rewards – including helping oneself grow and providing hope to those who need it most.

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