2022 Global Citizenship Review

What's inside

Highlights from our Global Pro Bono Practice and Global Citizenship initiative

A message from our Chair

In a year of geopolitical turmoil, environmental disasters and threats to human rights, we leveraged the full spectrum of our capabilities to help address the challenges of our time.

The Firm and our people supported those affected by the war in Ukraine in multiple ways—giving financial support to charities working on the ground, organizing donation drives for emergency relief provisions, providing pro bono advice to refugees and even opening their homes to those escaping the conflict. Elsewhere, we helped refugees from Afghanistan evacuate and resettle in safer countries.

In the wake of natural disasters such as the catastrophic floods in Australia, our lawyers helped families rebuild their homes and lives. We also helped tackle long-term issues, through research on carbon rights and climate change.

In the United States, our lawyers fought for the human rights of prisoners and women: challenging the use of long-term solitary confinement and helping to develop a unique database tracking rapidly changing reproductive healthcare laws in all 50 US states.

A long-term pillar of our pro bono work has been educating and empowering the next generation of legal leaders around the world. We celebrated important milestones in two projects we support: the inaugural graduating class of Bhutan’s first and only law school and the fifth anniversary of the African Centre on Law & Ethics.

This review tells these stories and more about the ways our people donated their time, knowledge and expertise to make a positive impact on their communities and the world in 2022.

Hugh Verrier, Chair

Emergency response

We mobilized to help those escaping crises

Call to action

Responding to those affected by the war in Ukraine

Ukraine response
Brendan Hoffman © Bespoke Reps

In the wake of the storm

Rebuilding houses and lives following the Australia floods

Australia floods
Brendan McCarthy © AAP

Safe passage

Helping refugees fleeing from Afghanistan

gc afghan refugees
American Photo Archive © Alamy Stock Photo

ESG & pro bono

While two distinct areas, ESG and pro bono can overlap and even complement each other

Navigating the difference between ESG and pro bono

A conversation with Jacquelyn MacLennan, EU competition and trade law partner, Global Pro Bono Practice Leader (2015 – 2022) and Business & Human Rights Interest Group member

Navigating the difference between ESG and pro bono
© James Cannon Photography

Access to justice

Highlights include a historic civil rights settlement and work to end solitary confinement

Isolated for life

Protecting prisoners from the harms of long-term solitary confinement

Justice solitary
Michael M. Santiago © Getty Images

Journey to justice

Fighting to obtain just compensation for our client who was wrongfully convicted of murder

Justice Shawn Williams
Holly Pickett © The New York Times/Redux

Advancing human rights

Our work focused on the rights of women and children

A holistic approach

Improving access to justice for children

A holistic approach juvenile defense
Gustavo Oliveira © WBR Photo

The problem with pardons

Providing access to executive clemency for women and other vulnerable groups

Rights vance center pardons
Kansas City Star © Getty Images

Reproductive freedoms

Building on our long history of reproductive rights pro bono work

Rights roe v wade
Ian Waldie © Getty Images

Environmental action

We used our skills to help protect our environment and support climate action

Carbon rights

Identifying legal frameworks for developing countries to address climate change

Carbon rights
Michael Melford © Bespoke

Call of the wild

Free speech victory benefits endangered gray wolves

Call of the wild gray wolves
Stan Tekiela © Getty Images

A sustainable bond

Facilitating green and blue bonds in Africa

Environment ECON Africa Green bonds
Justin Jin © Bespoke

Educating future leaders

Two of our legal education programs come full circle in Bhutan and Ghana

First class

Marking a milestone for Bhutan’s first law school

© JSW Law

An ethical foundation

Supporting the African Centre on Law & Ethics as it trains law students and practitioners from across the continent

Africa legal ethics
David Malan © Getty Images

A truly global pro bono practice

Our work focuses on providing access to justice, serving organizations with a social or environmental mission and promoting the rule of law and good sovereign governance

Pro bono hours and participation

122,152pro bono hours in 2022

100k+ pro bono hours for the sixth consecutive year
100% of our offices and practices do pro bono work

160+ partners and counsel serve as pro bono leaders
900+ pro bono matters in 2022


Pro bono secondments

Deepening client relationships and boosting associates' skills

Pro bono secondments
© European Lawyers in Lesvos

Office highlights

Pro bono matters from each of our offices

Pro bono office highlights
Gabriel Mello © Getty Images

Learn more

For more information about our commitment and activities, please visit our Global Citizenship web pages.


Visuals by Roman De Giuli

Ukraine response

Call to action

Responding to those affected by the war in Ukraine


3 min read

In February 2022 Russia's invasion of Ukraine created a refugee crisis not seen in Europe since World War II. White & Case responded to the fast-moving humanitarian crisis with multiple approaches to help Ukrainians plunged into war.
In the hours and days after the war started, people in our offices close to the conflict and as far away as Los Angeles and Tokyo quickly responded to the crisis. Twenty-five people from our Warsaw office opened their homes to refugees fleeing from Ukraine, quickly followed by colleagues in Brussels, London and Prague. Teams across Europe mobilized to collect much-needed medical supplies to send, or even in some cases deliver themselves, to the Ukrainian border. Volunteers supported local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) by staffing emergency hotlines and sorting donated items for refugees. The Firm donated US$1 million to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and matched employee contributions to support relief efforts.

As the war progressed, the needs of Ukrainian refugees shifted. We joined the Legal Solidarity Fund, a legal profession initiative set up by leading Polish lawyers to provide fellowships to Ukrainian legal scholars who are refugees in Poland. In addition, our Brussels, Frankfurt and Prague offices hired Ukrainian lawyers who fled the country, and in Frankfurt, we employed a Ukrainian law student via Safe Harbors 4 UA Students, a program designed to help Ukraine's displaced law students.


Associate Aleksandra Stepniewicz works alongside Ukrainian translator Jan Swiecicki to provide assistance to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Warsaw, Poland.

In addition to practical humanitarian assistance, we provided pro bono legal support to help make a positive difference in long-term outcomes for people displaced by war. For instance, we expanded our existing work with European Lawyers in Lesvos to participate in its new project in Poland, with lawyers from our Warsaw office providing legal assistance to refugees from Ukraine on a range of legal issues in five locations across the city, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' information center.  We also assisted Ukrainians currently living in the United States in applying for Temporary Protected Status. And in London we collaborated with Asylum Aid and other law firms to advise Ukrainians in the United Kingdom on how to extend their visas or apply for asylum, and seconded our lawyers to work with refugees in Warsaw in partnership with Safe Passage International.

"In February our on-the-ground response to the plight of Ukrainians dealt with refugees' immediate needs. Over time, we have been able to offer our services as lawyers to help address the many issues facing refugees as they start to rebuild their lives," says Aleksandra Oziemska, partner in our Warsaw office. "When someone needs our help, we have a moral obligation to step up and to use our position to improve the lives of suffering people."

Photo by Brendan Hoffman © Bespoke Reps
A gymnasium at a school in Novoyavorivsk, Ukraine, converted into a shelter for displaced Ukrainians during the Russian invasion.

Photo by © Magda Cienciala
White & Case associate Aleksandra Stepniewicz works alongside Ukrainian translator Jan Swiecicki to provide assistance to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Warsaw, Poland. 

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