Here's How to Pay it Forward Pro Bono In-House Style
Nothing should stop you! We have overcome the barriers to in-house counsel performing pro bono legal work.
There are lots of opportunities for lawyers to get involved in our community through ACC Colorado. Here is a list of ACC Colorado Sponsored opportunities coming up:
i. Now: Non-Profit Working Group. Assist a Colorado non-profit organization with a specific legal project. Partner with an expert at a law firm if you need expertise. Monthly email to all members of working group describe available projects which are assigned on a first-to-volunteer basis. More information: http://www.coloradolawyerscommittee.org/projects/current-volunteer-opportunities/#business
ii. Now: ProBoPat – Colorado’s Cutting Edge Pro Bono Program for Patent Prosecutors
Last April Denver became first production office for ProBoPat, a national pro bono patent initiative from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s inventor education program. Modeled after a Minneapolis pilot program, ProBoPat is designed to connect low-income inventors and entrepreneurs with patent agents and attorneys willing to provide patent prosecution services on a pro bono or significantly reduced-fee basis. Since its launch, ProBoPat has made 15 successful referrals, with 10 representations currently pending.
ProBoPat is led locally by the Colorado Bar Association Intellectual Property Section and the Mi Casa Resource Center, a local non-profit that, among other things, serves low income entrepreneurs and small business owners. An administrator from Mi Casa evaluates inventors for program eligibility and pairs qualified participants with a volunteer patent professional.
Volunteers are needed! The program currently has a backlog of applicants seeking a match, so qualified ACC members are strongly encouraged to volunteer for this unique and innovative pro bono program. Signing up to volunteer does not obligate you to take any particular case, and in house volunteers can be paired with outside counsel upon request. CLE credit is available to ProBoPat participants, and because ProBoPat is an ACC Colorado-approved pro bono program ACC malpractice insurance is available to individuals who hold themselves out as performing ProBoPat work as a member of ACC Colorado and submit a signedACC Colorado Pro Bono Engagement Letter to ACC Colorado’s Chapter Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org)(see http://www.acc.com/chapters/colo/probonooutreach.cfm for more information).
You can find out more about ProBoPat by calling 303-573-1302 or emailing ProBoPat@MiCasaResourceCenter.org.
ACC Colorado's Pro Bono & Outreach Evaluation Criteria
The ACC Colorado Chapter board reviews all requests for pro bono & community outreach legal assistance based on established criteria. To aid potential organizations and individuals seeking the assistance of ACC Colorado and our members, the following is a summary of the criteria upon which we review such requests. Please keep in mind that we review requests as they are received, subject to our meeting schedule. For additional information or to discuss potential opportunities, please contact Josie: email@example.com
- The sponsored activity or project must be related to our core purpose as an association of in-house legal counsel.
- The request must relate to a specific activity or project as opposed to contributing to a general fund of an organization.
- The request should help us achieve as broad an array of involvement as possible across our sponsorships activities. The extent to which the chapter has already sponsored similar activities or organizations will be considered.
- The sponsored organization must have a track record of success.
- The request must not involve an issue or taking a position that deeply divides our membership.
We look forward to hearing from you and to working together to better the community in which we practice.