As Ukraine continues to push back on the Russian advance, hundreds of thousands of refugees have already sought refuge to neighboring countries. Before this is over, the crisis may well get worse, with some estimates tagging the final refugee numbers in the millions. And many of these folks are going to need legal assistance.
Paul Weiss chairman Brad Karp sent a message to the firm last night laying out the work ahead and the role Paul Weiss attorneys can play in assisting organizations addressing the crisis.
Throughout our history, Paul, Weiss has helped refugees and vulnerable migrants fleeing war. Our lawyers worked courageously to protect the Jews of Europe during World War II by changing American policy towards immigration and arranging for tens of thousands of European Jews to secure safe refuge in America. Today, we are closely following the dire situation in Ukraine, and are mobilizing our pro bono resources to work with relief organizations and legal services providers to help those desperately in need.
In addition to its in-kind donation of pro bono assistance, the firm is donating to a number of organizations and will match staff and non-partner attorney donations up to $1500 annually.
For now, while we watch the horror unfolding hour by hour from afar, our financial support for these organizations will make an immediate difference on the ground and our legal support will facilitate the vital work being performed by these organizations to help the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees secure safe refuge around the globe.
There’s a lot to be cynical about in the Biglaw world, but these institutions bring a tremendous amount of money and expertise under one roof — or one Zoom platform, as the case may be these days — and when the worst unfolds, firms can bring a lot of resources to bear for worthy causes.
As a firm with a long history of stepping up in the face of adversity, it’s not surprising that Paul Weiss took a swift stand here. Hopefully it will inspire other firms to join the effort.
I mean, Sidley and Venable have a lot of attorneys not doing Russian bank work any more….
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Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.
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