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Boutique Law Firm Makes An Impact

IMPACT | 365 program challenges Shields Legal Group’s employees to give back every day


WHEN SHIELDS LEGAL GROUP joined Entrepreneurs for North Texas (EFNT) at CFT, it was the start of a mutually beneficial relationship. “EFNT provided the structure we needed to start giving back to the community,” remarked Jim Shields, founder and principal of the law firm. “Our employees had the heartfelt desire to volunteer, but we simply lacked the in-house resources to make it happen in a meaningful way.”

In conjunction with joining EFNT and establishing a donor-advised fund at Communities Foundation of Texas, the firm launched its IMPACT | 365 program in March 2014 as a means to challenge its 15 employees to take intentional action to give back 365 days a year.

During the firm’s first year of EFNT membership, employees logged 112 volunteer hours, primarily through EFNT’s “Plug ’N Plays.” Employees organized two food drives benefiting a local food pantry. Many employees made first-time charitable gifts as part of North Texas Giving Day, and the firm supported and participated in EFNT’s Freedom Day. Kathy Hoke, the firm’s Managing Partner, was named EFNT’s 2014 Engagement Captain of the Year.

Actively promoting a corporate culture of community involvement has yielded unexpected benefits. Cathie Shields, the firm’s Office Manager, observed, “The IMPACT | 365 program has created a positive energy in our office that I’ve never seen in 20 years. Business clients have remarked, ‘We like doing business with people who make a difference.’” Jim Shields readily acknowledges that joining EFNT has turned out to be a great business decision. “What started out as a mission to give back to our local community has not only boosted morale among our employees but also enhanced the firm’s relationship with our clients. EFNT membership is a winning proposition, no matter the size of your company.”