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

gc afghan refugees

Safe passage

Helping refugees fleeing from Afghanistan


2 min read

When the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan in August 2021, life became dangerous for many people, particularly women working to uphold gender rights and members of the previous government's military. Lawyers in many White & Case offices have been involved in the evacuation and resettlement efforts for representatives of both groups, along with some family members.

For our client, having someone on her side, fighting for her, meant everything

Elaf Al-Wohaibi
Associate, Riyadh

Supporting people fleeing to safety

Lawyers in our Riyadh, London, Milan, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Chicago and Washington, DC, offices are supporting women and their families who have—or hope to—escape Afghanistan. In one case the Taliban targeted our client for her work in a women's shelter. With our assistance she fled to Pakistan and is now resettling in Germany. We are also helping her sisters leave Afghanistan after one of them received violent threats. Because the matters have similar elements, our teams conduct regular calls to share information about the situation on the ground and identify the best legal options for escaping Afghanistan.

"For our client, having someone on her side, fighting for her, meant everything. Even when we thought things were moving slowly, she was so appreciative of our support. This makes this difficult work, in which much is out of our control, so rewarding," says Elaf Al-Wohaibi, associate in our Riyadh office. "Human rights drew me to the legal profession in the first place. White & Case's reputation for pro bono work and the ability to work on matters like this are among the reasons I chose to join the Firm."

Supporting asylum seekers in the United States

Lawyers in our Houston and New York offices assisted two trainee pilots in the Afghan Air Force with resettlement in the US. The pilots were training with the US in the United Arab Emirates when the US military withdrew from Afghanistan, and they were evacuated to the US to avoid retaliation by the Taliban. Each chose to make independent departures from the US military bases where they were housed, rather than wait for US resettlement services. This action made them vulnerable to losing critical benefits and required navigating through a legally complex process. We assisted the pilots with their departures, specifically ensuring they received resettlement benefits and local support and—most recently—helped them apply for asylum.

German Collaborative Project for Afghans

We are also participating in a collaborative project with other law firms and legal service providers to assist Afghan refugees to reunite with their family in Germany. Through the German Collaborative Project for Afghans, which involves eight law firms and the International Rescue Committee, lawyers in our Berlin and Hamburg offices have taken on their first case, helping an Afghan resident of Germany reunite with his family who are still in Afghanistan.

Photo by American Photo Archive © Alamy Stock Photo
Assisted by a US Air Force aircrew, Afghan refugees board an evacuation flight in August 2021.

Service areas