The GU Associates Committee serves as a sounding board for the firm’s associates. In addition to social gatherings, associates gather regularly to discuss issues of interest. The committee works closely with firm management to address any issues and to enhance firm culture at GU.
Additionally, the committee initiated and continues to run the Associate Mentorship Program, an associate-to-associate mentoring program aimed at ensuring that new associates have a positive introduction to the firm. During their first week at GU, new associates are paired with associates with equal or more experience, ideally from the same department, whom they can go to for advice or day-to-day questions.
Gesmer Updegrove is proud to have a Charitable Giving Committee focused exclusively on ways the firm and its attorneys can give back to our local community. The committee’s responsibilities range from organizing firm-wide volunteer opportunities at the Greater Boston Food Bank, to soliciting suggestions on non-profit organizations to receive the firm’s philanthropic dollars, to developing and implementing the firm’s pro bono policy.
In 2020, Gesmer Updegrove was proud to launch its charitable donations matching program, powered by GU client Givinga. Givinga provides a cloud-based technology platform that facilitates corporate philanthropic giving and streamlines the individual donation process. Through this platform, GU matches eligible donations made by all Gesmer Updegrove lawyers and staff each year to any 501(c)(3) selected by the individual.
The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee seeks to facilitate the firm’s ongoing efforts to promote greater diversity and foster an environment in which individuals of all backgrounds, perspectives, and identities feel welcome, valued, and included. The DEI Committee accomplishes this by:
Gesmer is a place where everyone can feel comfortable and included. We make a real effort to get to know one another both during the work day and beyond.
Every year there is a “Summer Outing” when the office closes for the day and all employees spend time together. We’ve enjoyed hot air ballooning, Canobie Lake Park, a bowling party, The Franklin Park Zoo, F1 Racing, and even harbor cruises right near the office. At the holidays we have traditional gatherings and there are quarterly potlucks, cooking competitions, and after work “happy hours” at nearby restaurants downtown.
We broaden ties with clients at our Annual Charity Regatta for Entrepreneurship, and we strengthen our ties with the legal community at friendly softball competitions and bar association galas. Gesmer thrives on being more than just a place to work – we’re a community to belong to.
We have a core group of staff, paralegals, and attorneys who have been at the firm for over 20 years. Something about GU inspires loyalty.
Historically, the practice of law was a male-dominated industry. Slowly that is changing. While the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was established in 1692, the first female justice wasn’t appointed until 1978. The Massachusetts Bar Association didn’t see its first female President until 1986, and the state didn’t elect its first female Attorney General until 2007.
Women have tirelessly made great strides towards equality in the legal profession. Every year since 2016 female lawyers have outnumbered their male counterparts in law school graduation rates. Nonetheless, the glass ceiling remains an unfortunate reality for many, and the fact remains that the leadership and partnership of many law firms is comprised of predominately or exclusively male attorneys.
Recognizing that women face unique challenges in the legal profession, Gesmer’s Women’s Committee is dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of females in the legal field and at the firm through intellectual and social enrichment. The Committee meets on a regular basis to provide members with organizational and group support in the creation, development, and fulfillment of professional and personal opportunities both within and outside of the firm.