Global Citizenship Review

Highlights from our Global Pro Bono Practice, volunteering and responsible business activities


From our Chair

As one of the largest providers of pro bono legal services in the world, we felt a very strong responsibility to help address both the COVID-19 and racial justice crises. We often worked closely with longstanding pro bono clients who needed to respond quickly to fast-changing situations. For example, we helped the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies assess the impact of COVID-19 emergency decrees in 77 countries. We also created new initiatives like the Racial Justice Task Force set up by lawyers in our Global Antitrust Practice.

This review reports on our pro bono and legal education work on these issues and our continued work on access to justice, human rights and the environment.

We take our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact seriously. It has inspired our Responsible Business Working Group, co-chaired by our General Counsel, to look at our own operations and supply chain in a more holistic way. We share reflections by members of the Working Group on our efforts and progress since signing the Compact in 2016.

This year has changed the world, and it’s also changed our Firm. We hope that we have helped steer the world toward a healthier, more just future.

__Hugh Verrier, Chair

Inspiring voices

Two pro bono clients reflect on environmental risks and racial justice


Dominic Jermey, CVO, OBE

Director General of ZSL (Zoological Society of London) on why a holistic approach to the environment, animal health and human health is critical 

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© Brittany Greeson

Nakiya Wakes

Nakiya Wakes of Flint, Michigan shares her fight to overcome the effects of lead poisoning for her son and the community

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Capacity for justice

Addressing issues facing the Black and Brown community

© Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images News

Justice under strain

Five partners discuss what global law firms can do to address the racial injustice crisis

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© Mark Boster/Getty Images

Pro bono is personal 

Partners describe their personal pro bono work on racial injustice

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© Alexey Malgavko/Reuters

Remote learning

Our legal education and pipeline programs continued in virtual settings around the world

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Trust in justice

Our Antitrust lawyers band together to fight racial injustice

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A viral response

Our lawyers facilitate solutions to the COVID-19 crisis


Emergency exemptions

We analyze emergency decrees to help the IFRC boost pandemic response

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© Massimo Pinca/Reuters

A duty to care

Helping the IFRC care for volunteers stricken by COVID-19

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© Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

Rules of entry

Minimizing intersecting crises for immigrants

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© Richard Kalvar/Magnum Photos

Action Against Corona

Social investment for COVID-19 solutions

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© Sandy HuffakerAFP via Getty Images

Gender matters

Helping women prisoners get the support they need during COVID-19

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Making rights a reality

Highlights of our work on international human rights

© Elias Marcou/Reuters

Chains of evidence

We analyze chain-of-custody evidentiary rules and standards before international criminal tribunals

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© Godong/Alamy Stock Photo

Breaking free

Our Paris office helps fight child prostitution

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Other highlights of our international human rights work


United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

Analysis of emblematic national corruption cases in political institutions and the judicial system with a focus on human rights matters


Child Rights International Network

Research to map how children’s right to a healthy environment has been implemented globally with regard to the relevant constitutional and legislative provisions, how children can access the courts in environmental cases, and how children’s civil and political rights are protected to ensure they are able to raise awareness on environmental issues 


Public International Law & Policy Group

Analysis of the possible options for using universal jurisdiction to pursue accountability for perpetrators of crimes committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar  


World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Research on jurisdictions in Africa, Central and South America where a person sentenced to a term of years may receive early release due to good conduct while in prison, regardless of the crime of conviction  


Mexican Association of Women Judges

Assistance in preparing a comparative analysis of legislation and regulation on judicial independence and women’s career advancement 

Responsible Business

How we are implementing the UN Global Compact’s principles

© Emilio Morenatti/AP

Q&A with members of our Responsible Business Working Group

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© Greg Barrett

From good intentions to positive action

We commit to our first Australian Reconciliation Action Plan

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Sustained action

Our people share practices they implemented in 2019 as part of our new environmental management system in a video. Our 2020 Environmental Sustainability Report provides details of our efforts.


About pro bono

Highlights of our Global Pro Bono Practice


By the numbers

Jacquelyn MacLennan

__Jacquelyn MacLennan

Global Pro Bono Practice Leader, partner, Brussels

Our global pro bono practice continued to grow in 2020 as we helped address some of the world’s gravest challenges.

146,500 pro bono hours in 2020

4% increase from 2019

100% of our offices and practices do pro bono work

150+ partners and counsel serve as Pro Bono Leaders

60+ associates and legal staff serve as Pro Bono Champions


© Frederic J. Brown/AFP - Getty Images

2020 Pro Bono awards

Our work was recognized for impact and innovation

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© JP Ramirez

Good offices 

Pro bono matters from each of our offices

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Pro Bono clients

We are privileged to work with more than 600 organizations and governments. Please view our client list here.

To read more about our commitment and activities, please visit our Global Citizenship page. Read our previous Global Citizenship Reviews here.

Read our 2020 Annual Review