Pro Bono

Pro Bono

The scale, reach, success, and resources of Jones Day permit us to give back in numerous ways to the communities in which we work and live. Principal among those contributions is our pro bono work. 

Jones Day and Our Pro Bono Culture


Immigration – The Border Project

Combatting Human Trafficking

Constitutional Policing and Civil Justice Reform, Standing Together

Advancing the Rule of Law in Africa

Hate Crimes Task Force

American Hospital Association (AHA) & Jones Day Human Trafficking Interview


Within a week of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Jones Day established a Ukraine Task Force comprised of lawyers across the US, Europe and the Middle East. That Task Force meets regularly to strategize on providing charitable contributions, legal assistance to refugees and supporting efforts to rebuild Ukraine. Lawyers across the US and Europe have been working at legal clinics to provide advice directly to refugees and lawyers across Europe have taken in refugee families, volunteered at events organized to support refugees and contributed goods shipped to the borders of Ukraine. Our corporate clients are also joining in to provide legal assistance to refugees in Germany. Offices have undertaken initiatives to hire Ukrainian law students and lawyers displaced by the war. The Jones Day Foundation has provided grants for hundreds of law students to facilitate their continued legal education as well as significant grants to organizations providing humanitarian relief. 

As a part of the Firm's support of Ukraine, the Financial Markets practice group and Paris Office hosted a roundtable event at the Marshall Center in Paris entitled, "The Key Role of the Private Sector in the Reconstruction of Ukraine." Representatives of major financial institutions, energy and infrastructure corporates, multilateral and development agencies, and the Ukrainian and French governments joined Jones Day to discuss issues related to the rebuilding and reconstruction of Ukraine in the same room where U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall and others originally crafted the vision for Europe’s post-World War II economic recovery. Discussion centered on Ukraine’s reconstruction needs, how the private sector can support the recovery effort, and the issues to be navigated in connection with such private sector support. The Firm remains committed to helping Ukraine and the private sector deploy a wide array of financial products in support of the nation’s rebuilding and continues to focus on these issues. 


Immigration – The Border Project

In 2014, Jones Day launched the Unaccompanied Children Project ("UAC") representing migrant minors and mothers with their children, many of whom were detained by the U.S. government after fleeing life-threatening, gender-based gang violence in their home countries. In early 2017, Jones Day opened a full-time, fully staffed office in Laredo, Texas to serve these clients, and that phase of the Border Initiative became known as the "Laredo Project."

In 2021, Jones Day expanded our work to serve migrant children, women, and families by opening a new office in the Rio Grande Valley. We call our newest phase of our work—The Border Project 3.0.

Jones Day has provided legal education to over 10,000 migrants, and has managed more than 600 individual cases for women, children, and families. Over 1,100 lawyers from every domestic office and Mexico City have dedicated more than 280,000 hours to these cases.

We continue to provide aid and support to vulnerable migrant populations. When dangerous circumstances in the Middle East and Africa resulted in waves of refugees in Lesvos, Greece, Jones Day deployed lawyers from the region to help ensure that the laws governing humanitarian relief are properly applied, particularly women and children. More than 20 lawyers have dedicated in excess of 2,800 hours to this project.

We also have welcomed the participation of dozens of in-house counsel from some of the Firm's corporate clients, who have joined us for a week at a time assisting refugees in Laredo. These clients have uniformly expressed great enthusiasm for the work we are doing. They have described their experience at Laredo as "the most rewarding personal experience of my professional career," and they commonly note the "astonishing" and "outstanding" commitment by Jones Day.

Combatting Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking—both labor and sex trafficking—impacts millions of people around the world. Jones Day has marshaled its "One Firm Worldwide" approach to unite its offices around the globe in a coordinated effort to combat human trafficking and provide justice for survivors of trafficking.

Many different Jones Day practices contribute to this critical work. 

In litigation, Jones Day represents survivors of trafficking in restitution proceedings, expungements, tax and immigration matters, as well as representing child victims of online sexual exploitation and livestreaming. The Firm also issued a Best Practices Manual for the creation of specialized Trafficking Courts, and is developing a Survivor Services program that works with non-governmental organizations ("NGOs") to provide workforce training and other reintegration supports for survivors of human trafficking. The Firm is working with NGOs, industry leaders, and government agencies to develop training materials for companies, pro bono counsel, prosecutors, and judges on the handling of human trafficking cases and the issues surrounding witnesses who are victims of trauma. 

We also are partnering with our clients to produce a Global Compendium of the Laws of Human Trafficking, the first standardized global resource of its kind. Jones Day health care lawyers worked with the American Hospital Association and leading NGOs to issue the first nationwide diagnostic codes for trafficking and currently are training hospital systems across the country in their implementation. 

Jones Day financial services lawyers provided key research for global efforts developed to facilitate the provision of banking and financial services to victims of trafficking, and the Firm is leading an international working group focused on modernizing the anti-money laundering ("AML") regime applicable to human trafficking. Data and privacy lawyers are working with NGOs, financial institutions and government to facilitate data sharing and privacy procedures for human trafficking cases, while transactional lawyers support the creation, expansion, and governance of leading organizations in the human trafficking field. Finally, the Firm, in tandem with the Jones Day Foundation, is supporting the development of anti-trafficking programs at the local government level in cities throughout the United States.

As part of the American Hospital Association's Hospitals Against Violence initiative, the AHA, Jones Day, and HEAL Trafficking have come together to provide resources to health care providers across the nation who are fighting the global scourge of human trafficking. To support that initiative, Jones Day has prepared the attached tool to help providers navigate the complex roadmap of their reporting and education obligations. With the increased role of telehealth and multistate practitioners, the need for this type of resource is growing. 

Constitutional Policing and Civil Justice Reform, Standing Together

At the direction of the Managing Partner, the Constitutional Policing and Civil Justice Reform ("CPR") Initiative was created following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020, to demonstrate the Firm's commitment "to advancing the rule of law governing policing in the minority communities." Underscoring the necessity of this important work, the Managing Partner noted that "an effective police force—one that is widely respected as honest, fair, and evenhanded both in protecting communities and enforcing order—is essential to the survival of any system built on the rule of law."

The CPR Initiative is engaging in local and nationally coordinated efforts to achieve cultural and systemic changes in policing practices in minority communities throughout the United States, with an emphasis on the African American community. Specifically, the Task Force and the hundreds of lawyers supporting them are:

  • Coordinating efforts at the local and national levels to impact systemic reform in policing practices, policies, procedures, and culture; 
    Undertaking impact litigation designed to challenge unconstitutional policing practices, and to achieve systemic reform resulting in a decrease in excessive use of force, improved transparency and accountability, and standardized policing practices;
  • Exploring opportunities to engage in reform of police accountability through addressing issues with police union contracts and arbitration proceedings related to police discipline;
  • Educating communities, stakeholders, local government leaders, community activists, and our corporate clients on issues related to reform to help bring key parties together to move toward meaningful reform; and
  • Engaging corporate clients in strategic partnerships.

For more information, see these Jones Day webinars:

Transforming the Minneapolis Police Department: A Collaborative Approach to Driving Systemic and Cultural Change

Strengthening Africa's Justice Systems

Jones Day is active in strengthening justice and legal systems across Africa.

  • The Kenya Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has repeatedly sought our assistance in the training of new prosecutors. Led by Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.), and in partnership with Lawyers Without Borders, Jones Day lawyers trained 60 new prosecutors in a virtual program,. This followed in-person training of 77 other new Kenyan prosecutors, and anti-corruption training for more than 60 Kenyan prosecutors. The Firm was also active in establishing and strengthening Kenya’s Prosecutors’ Training Institute.
  • At the request of the head prosecutor in Ogun State, Nigeria, Jones Day lawyers conducted an advocacy training program in support of victims of gender-based violence. Also in Nigeria, Jones Day assisted in the introduction of a plea bargaining implementation program designed to respect the rights of victims and defendants.
  • In partnership with Lawyers Without Borders and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), Jones Day lawyers trained Tanzanian magistrates, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers in a one-week virtual program.
  • In partnership with the Ghana Judicial Training Institute and NITA, Jones Day developed a program on effective case management and reduction of civil and criminal backlog for Ghanaian trial court judges. The successful program was then repeated for 77 judges in Kumasi.
  • Jones Day lawyers traveled to Namibia for a five-day training program for Namibian prosecutors focused on gender-based violence. Lawyers in four Firm offices helped develop materials for the program sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Lawyers Without Borders.

Developing Alternatives for Dispute Resolution in Africa

Even with the strongest judicial systems, timely resolution of every dispute through the courts is impractical in light of case volume. Jones Day is working to strengthen alternative mechanisms for resolution throughout the continent.

During the pandemic, and at the invitation of the Chief Justice of Zambia, Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.) helped lead a 13-session, 40-hour virtual course in advanced mediation training for Zambian judges and leading members of its bar. The event was conducted in partnership with ADR Center Global and the Weinstein International Foundation.

The Firm also actively encourages the development of tomorrow’s alternative resolution leaders. Jones Day lawyers from offices in Europe, the United States, and Asia have consistently supported law students from Sub-Saharan Africa participating in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The Firm has also partnered with the Middle East Pre-Moot, where our students competed with a cadre of 40 other teams, primarily from the Middle East and North Africa, in a pre-moot competition before the Vis competition.

Access to Justice

Access to justice remains a significant issue for many in Africa. The Firm’s work on this front includes assisting BarefootLaw as it develops and rolls out its inaugural Law Boxes, remodeled shipping containers that will allow it to deliver legal services in remote communities in Uganda. BarefootLaw’s ultimate goal is to expand its innovative approaches to providing access to justice across the continent.

Education and Training

Jones Day continues to partner with the International Law Institute (ILI), and its Africa Centre for Excellence and South Africa Centre for Excellence. Topics of recent ILI trainings led by Jones Day lawyers have ranged from governance and compliance training for senior Nigerian attorneys to communicating in a virtual world to the use of unmanned aircraft─or "drones"─for lawyers.

Hate Crimes/Peaceful Protest

Initiated in 2017, Jones Day’s Hate Crimes Task Force includes a team of lawyers, one a former US Attorney and many others former prosecutors, who support and represent the victims of hate crimes, as well as their family members. They work closely with local law enforcement, civil rights organizations, and agencies and departments at various levels of government.

Jones Day represented the family of a member of the U.S. military who was targeted and killed because of his race; defended members of the Charlottesville city counsel who were sued in their individual capacity as a result of their efforts to address iconography; and provided advice to individual cities that were seeking to quell the use of unlawful private militias and unauthorized paramilitary activity at public demonstrations. Jones Day also provided educational materials on the legal parameters of peaceful protest in cities across the country.

Jones Day is also spearheading an international project to address anti-Semitism and other forms of hate and extremism that manifested themselves in the Tree of Life killings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With a multidisciplinary group of leading experts from around the world, Jones Day is working to drive global and actionable solutions to overt acts of hate and extremism.

American Hospital Association (AHA) & Jones Day Human Trafficking Interview

Bethany Biesenthal sits down with Mindy Hatton to discuss her successful career at the American Hospital Association and the collaboration with Jones Day and HEAL Trafficking to fight human trafficking from the health care perspective.

Jones Day lawyers represent individuals and nonprofit organizations in both civil and criminal litigation before a variety of administrative agencies and state and federal courts, including the federal courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court. Across the Firm, our lawyers participate in various local clinics that offer free legal advice to the poor on such matters as landlord/tenant law, public benefits, immigration, probate, family law, and consumer fraud. Our lawyers have represented defendants at all levels of the criminal justice system, from wrongfully charged individuals facing their first trials to death row inmates seeking new ones. In addition, we assist nonprofit organizations with corporate-related issues such as incorporation and tax advice.
We demonstrate our deep commitment to the needs of the public and particularly the disadvantaged through a wide array of public service activities. Many of our offices have worked with Habitat for Humanity and a number of our lawyers participated in rebuilding facilities in Southeast Asia following the December 2004 tsunami. Moreover, teams of lawyers across offices and practice areas regularly engage in community service projects such as cleaning parks and camps for kids, fixing up schools, and collecting and bagging groceries for food banks. The Firm also makes annual monetary contributions to and participates in fund-raising efforts for law school public interest organizations such as the Public Interest Law Foundation and the Equal Justice Foundation. The Firm hosts numerous fundraisers and events for nonprofit and other organizations, including the Appleseed Foundation, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Capital Area Immigration Rights Coalition, the Federalist Society, GAYLAW, Special Olympics, and others. To see photos of from our days of service, visit our YouTube channel.

Jones Day has a long history of, and commitment to, pro bono work, public service, and community involvement in all of our locations around the world. Because of that commitment, pro bono and public service matters undertaken by Jones Day are provided the same level of attention and professional dedication that we provide to matters undertaken on behalf of paying clients.


Worldwide Pro Bono Contacts