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. 

Unaccompanied Children and Laredo Projects

Our representation of refugees, both children and adults, illustrates the innovative approach Jones Day takes to tackling a significant issue and fighting fiercely for access to the rule of law.

Since 2014, through the Unaccompanied Children Project, Jones Day has represented more than 250 unaccompanied minors and mothers with their children, many of whom were detained by the U.S. government after fleeing gang violence and severe abuse in Central America. In every case that has been fully resolved thus far, our lawyers have won favorable outcomes for our clients. Since this project began, 588 Jones Day lawyers from across the United States have participated and have billed more than 83,000 hours to this project, valued at more than $42 million.

In early 2017, Jones Day expanded this work to our Laredo Project, a full-time presence providing legal information and representation to women refugees detained on the border. The Laredo Project now includes a full-time trial site operation in Laredo, Texas; hundreds of trial teams working remotely across the country; and a team of talented appellate lawyers.

Each week, we bring in a volunteer team of six to eight lawyers and two translators on the ground in Laredo, supported by a full-time staff of four paralegals and two lawyers. These teams conduct "Know Your Rights" presentations and provide information about the asylum process to women refugees fleeing gender persecution, gang violence, or political persecution in Latin America. In addition, our teams prepare detainees for their "credible fear" interviews with asylum officers and represent refugees with colorable claims for protection under U.S. asylum laws. This continued presence requires an ongoing commitment from Jones Day lawyers, and we are delighted that retired partners and Firm staff have joined the effort as well. Jones Day has educated thousands of detained women about the asylum process and their legal rights and has helped more than 300 clients as part of the Laredo 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.


Dire conditions and escalating conflicts in the Middle East and Africa have driven significant migration to Europe. Greece is one of the main entry points to the European Union. The result has been disruption to the receiving country and extreme stress on its systems, as well as heartbreaking suffering by the migrants, most of whom are women and children.

Recognizing this pressing need, Jones Day broadened our commitment to assist refugees by deploying lawyers from across Europe and the Middle East for three weeks at a time to Lesvos, Greece. There, our lawyers help ensure that the laws governing humanitarian relief are available and properly applied to refugees, particularly women and children. Working with HIAS, a U.S.-based NGO that has been assisting refugees around the world since 1881, our lawyers have helped collect and prepare basic documents to ensure that asylum seekers and refugees can access the rights given to them under national, European, and international law.

Veteran Representation and VetLex

As we talked to veterans across the United States, we found a significant unmet need for access to legal help. When we talked to lawyers across the country, we heard their desire to help veterans who have given so much to the nation. The problem was, they did not know how to find each other. Through collaboration with veterans, NGOs, and governmental institutions, we designed VetLex—a platform to connect veterans in need with lawyers having the knowledge and availability to represent them. The goal is to provide access to the rule of law to our veterans who have sacrificed to protect it.

Our national project to build this network of pro bono counsel serving veterans is now in a pilot phase in five locations: Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C. In addition, we continue to engage in impact litigation on behalf of veterans, including a groundbreaking national case shutting down a network designed to defraud veterans out of their disability and retirement benefits.

Hate Crimes/Peaceful Protest

Hate crimes, often accompanied by gun violence, leave legal and personal tragedy in their wake. In an effort to disrupt hate crimes and promote peaceful expression of ideas, we launched our Stop Hate Initiative. We are partnering with the Anti-Defamation League and others to represent victims of hate crimes, provide training and materials promoting peaceful protests, and arrange groundbreaking gatherings in communities fostering dialogue toward peace and rule-of-law solutions to conflict and prejudice. One example is our participation in the response to the crime that took place at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, which was the single largest loss of life in an anti-Semitic hate crime in the United States. We have taken a leadership role within that community to develop an international conference that will occur annually on the anniversary of the shooting and convene the most successful anti-hate experts from around the world to discuss effective strategies to combat hate crimes wherever they may occur.

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

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