Katherine Helm and Shyam Shanker Discuss Pro Bono Opportunities for IP Associates in Managing IP

June 13, 2024

Dechert intellectual property partner Katherine A. Helm and associate Shyam Shanker are featured in a Managing IP article about how law firms are helping intellectual property associates with pro bono work. The article discusses strategic ways intellectual property associates can engage in pro bono work, the level of supervision required for partners and associates, as well as meeting required metrics held by individual firms.

Dr. Helm discusses Dechert’s frequent involvement with pro bono appeals against a denial of benefits for veterans, stating “It’s a great opportunity for a lot of IP associates to get time, exposure, and experience arguing Federal Circuit appeals,” as the Federal Circuits also handles patent appeals.

Supervision of associates on pro bono matters is noted as a case-by-case basis. “We try to give associates as much responsibility and ownership over pro bono work as they are interested in and want to handle,” Dr. Helm says.

Notably, the article highlights Dechert’s 25-hour minimum annual requirement of pro bono work for all attorneys, while many peer firms do not have mandates towards offering pro bono legal services.

“I don’t think I’ve had a year when I’ve been under 100 hours of pro bono work,” Mr. Shanker says. “At larger law firms, you have some of the best attorneys where rates are simply too high for most people to afford.”

To read the full article, click the link below.

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