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


First class

Marking a milestone for Bhutan’s first law school 


5 min read

For more than a decade, White & Case has collaborated with the Kingdom of Bhutan to establish the country's first—and only—law school, Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law (JSW Law). In November 2022 JSW Law held its inaugural graduation ceremony, awarding law degrees to a class of 25 students who began their studies in 2017. For Bhutan, a new democracy, these and future graduates trained in the country's laws and legal tradition will be essential in strengthening the rule of law.

Advancing legal education globally

Our collaboration on this project began in 2008 when Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck invited White & Case Chair Hugh Verrier to visit the country. This visit set in motion our pro bono relationship, which came to include legal education programs that support the country's judiciary and government lawyers, the establishment of Bhutan's first law library (now housed at JSW Law) and steady work over several years on the law school itself, focused on issues such as admissions, recruiting, curriculum, staffing, accreditation and fundraising.

The law school's first class of students began their studies at a temporary campus in Taba, a neighborhood in Bhutan's capital, Thimphu. They transitioned to remote learning during the pandemic and were able to complete their law degree at the permanent JSW Law campus, which opened in spring 2022 in the mountains above Paro, Bhutan. Attendees at their historic graduation, held on the permanent campus, included King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, JSW Law's President Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, Verrier and other foreign and high-level government guests.



The 25 law graduates receive a blessing at dawn to kick off the graduation ceremony.


Building real-world legal skills

To equip graduates with practical legal skills, all JSW Law students spend their final semester as legal interns in government, the nonprofit sector or private practice. Two members of JSW Law's graduating class, Tika Ram Basnet and Jigme Namgyel, interned at our Washington, DC, office in spring 2022.

Basnet, whose internship focused on data privacy and cybersecurity laws, says the experience gave him a solid foundation for a future in which he hopes to "work as a lawyer, entrepreneur and tech expert, helping social enterprises and more ambitiously helping the country address various legal questions as it builds important digital infrastructure." Basnet has already founded a tech startup called Weblaya with a social enterprise model and, in his spare time, works with social enterprises such as Bhutan Blossoms to restructure and incorporate their businesses.

Namgyel, who was embedded with the Global Citizenship team, says he is "grateful for the meaningful relationship the law school shares with White & Case, and for the wonderful opportunity to learn and grow so much at the internship." Namgyel is working on establishing a foreign direct investment company, Terra Himalaya, which will partner with farmers to encourage regenerative agricultural practices and community groups that seek to protect forests in rural Bhutan to produce EU-certified organic essential oils for export to Europe.

"Being part of JSW Law's first graduating class is as humbling as it is terrifying," says Namgyel. "We are graduating as Bhutan is undergoing deliberate and rapid transformation across all sectors, and I am excited about the work my friends and classmates will be doing and the deeply impactful roles we hope to all play."

White & Case will continue to support Bhutan, including through ongoing advice to JSW Law, on pro bono projects, such as climate-related work, and by sending lawyers to lecture and teach at the law school.


Other legal education highlights

Training future arbitration lawyers
White & Case hosted arbitration students in a unique cross-office event, called the Vis Colloquium, in support of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The Firm's Vis Colloquium was held in ten of our offices and attended virtually and in person by 600 participants from 30 countries. The event featured international arbitration practitioners and academics who presented tips on researching the Vis Moot Problem and offered advice on written and oral advocacy.

"The Vis competition develops written and oral advocacy skills that will serve students well in their legal careers and also provides invaluable opportunities for students to network with legal practitioners," says Kirsten Odynski, a partner in our Paris office. "The Colloquium is an opportunity for our many Vis alumni to share their experiences and expertise with participating teams."

Alternative dispute resolution training in Sri Lanka
In collaboration with the Commercial Law Development Program of the United States Department of Commerce, lawyers from our Washington, DC, office led arbitration workshops for 100+ regional practitioners in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The training included an overview of international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, strategies on the written and oral phases of arbitration proceedings, approaches to taking evidence and enforcing or challenging the arbitral award. We also conducted a related panel on investment arbitration for 100+ local government officials, practitioners and industry leaders, along with the Attorney General's Department of Sri Lanka.

Business law and ethics seminars for students in Laos
In collaboration with BABSEACLE, a justice education organization operating in Asia, we provided an online Business Law and Ethics seminar series for students from five law campuses in Laos. Seventeen partners and associates from five offices across Asia-Pacific delivered seven monthly sessions (two to three hours each) aimed at developing students' legal skills and giving them a different perspective on a range of business law issues. Topics included client-centric advice, an overview of business law, rule of law, conflicts of interest, and acting in the best interest of your client and in a manner that promotes international human rights standards.

Photo by © JSW Law
Bhutanese law students attend the inaugural graduation ceremony.

Photo by © JSW Law
The 25 law graduates receive a blessing at dawn to kick off the graduation ceremony.


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