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.

rights roe v wade

Reproductive freedoms

Building on our long history of reproductive rights pro bono work


2 min read

Reproductive rights have come under threat around the world in recent years. In June 2022 a US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated the US federal constitutional right to abortion. We have a long history of pro bono work on reproductive rights issues, and in 2022 we took on new projects in multiple jurisdictions. 

Responding to the Dobbs decision

After Dobbs, there was a groundswell of concern across the Firm and a real desire to get involved. To effectively mobilize our efforts in a rapidly changing legal environment, our Global Women's Initiative established a strategy working group and began organizing volunteers. This action allowed the Firm to quickly respond to incoming requests for pro bono legal support. 

"Immediately after the Dobbs decision, our people started asking us ‘What can we do?' People from across our network were extremely upset and needed a way to channel that," says Shanghai partner and Global Women's Initiative Chair Vivian Tsoi. "Pro bono was the core of our response."

One of the first requests came from existing pro bono client Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG). We volunteered to help L4GG build a first-of-its-kind database tracking laws—and the rapid legislative changes—related to reproductive healthcare in all 50 US states. Collaborating with other law firms, we conducted research on the reproductive rights landscape in six states. 

Our team of 34 lawyers and legal staff from eight of our offices in the US and Europe continue to track updates to these states' laws in real time. L4GG's online, open-source database will be a valuable shared resource for lawyers, reproductive rights organizations, policy makers, healthcare providers, nonprofits and the general public, working to support reproductive rights in the US. 

White & Case lawyers across the US are also assisting the National Women's Law Center, a US nonprofit advancing gender justice, with further specific state-by-state research to support its overall reproductive rights work. 

Collaborating with Center for Reproductive Rights

On behalf of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), lawyers in our Warsaw office took on a project to consider the issue of reproductive and digital rights, a growing area of law. This project is the latest in our more than 15-year pro bono relationship with CRR. We are also contributing to United Nations–focused global research on intersectional discrimination and the right to reproductive and sexual health. We previously created a reproductive rights curriculum for judges globally and helped CRR to update its World Abortion Laws Map, among many other projects.

Photo by Ian Waldie © Getty Images
A family happily relaxing on a grassy dune.