GUARDING THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH WE LIVE
At Merchant & Gould we possess the skills that empower us to make a difference in the communities in which we live and serve. The need for legal representation for individuals of limited means and public interest organizations is greater than ever. The commitment to pro bono services at M&G is part of our values, principles, and of course our history. It makes us who we are and makes us better people.
Our attorneys, patent agents, technical advisors, paralegals and staff provide pro bono legal services in both the intellectual property field and in other legal areas for diverse groups such as consumers, veterans, children, arts organizations, and immigrants. Merchant & Gould sponsors scholarships through pro bono service organizations such as the Minnesota Justice Foundation, while many of our attorneys serve on boards and committees of community and legal organizations.
Merchant & Gould is a founding sponsor of LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program. This is a pilot program that launched in Minnesota with the encouragement of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The program provides pro bono legal services to low-income, independent inventors and its success may help spark innovation and new businesses in Minnesota and across the nation.
M&G is working with a Steering Committee of the Colorado Bar Association’s IP Section and the Mi Casa Resource Center, in conjunction with the USPTO, to establish the ProBoPat™ referral program for providing pro bono patent-related legal services in the State of Colorado. The ProBoPat™ program seeks to connect low income Colorado inventors with Colorado patent professionals for patent preparation and prosecution legal services on a pro bono or significantly reduced-fee basis.
Children’s Law Center of Minnesota
Through the Children’s Law Center, our attorneys become advocates for children who are either wards of the state, in foster care, or have been removed from their homes because they are in need of protection. They are trained to successfully provide legal representation to these children to ensure the child’s needs and wants are heard.
Volunteer Lawyer’s Network Housing Court
Through VLN, attorneys in our Minneapolis office are able to advise low-income individuals on housing legal issues.
Georgia Lawyers for the Arts
Attorneys in our Atlanta office volunteer their time to Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA), a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance and educational programming to artists and arts organizations in Georgia. A pro bono initiative of GLA, the new Georgia PATENTS program seeks to help solo inventors, non-profits, and small businesses find patent agents and attorneys to help file patents on a pro bono basis.
Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation offers lawyers an opportunity to provide civil legal representation for the poor. Merchant & Gould attorneys, through the AVLF, provide legal assistance to low-income citizens.
Denver Center for Crime Victims
Attorneys in our Denver office choose to dedicate time and services to citizens of the Denver region through the Denver Center for Crime Victims, whose vision includes "providing culturally and linguistically responsive services to crime victims who have been ignored or underserved because of their income, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, age, ability or sexual orientation."
Washington Lawyers for the Arts
Attorneys in our Seattle office donate their time and experience to individuals and organizations via the ongoing services WLA provides, including the Legal Clinic and Legal Workshops.