Microsoft President Brad Smith recalls that the decision to support immigration and refugees seemed natural when he created a pro-bono program for Microsoft lawyers in 2002. “We have employees in Washington State that have come here from 157 countries,” says Smith. “So we thought it was very consistent with the company’s own employee base and the way we look at the world.”
At first, Microsoft worked with local law firms focusing efforts exclusively in Seattle. In 2009 it partnered with actress Angelina Jolie to cofound Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).