Join GLA’s database of volunteer attorneys and patent agents who provide legal assistance to inventors across the state!
Due to the volume of calls and demands for services, GLA is always in need of new volunteer attorneys in a variety of practice areas.
How do I become a volunteer attorney?
Just fill out the Attorney Membership Form and let us know what kind of cases you would like to receive. You can choose to be a member or volunteer.
CLE Credits for Tennessee Attorneys!
Attorneys who take pro bono patent cases through Tennessee PATENTS can receive up to 3 Dual CLE credits per year in Tennessee for his or her pro bono hours! For every 5 billable hours of pro bono work provided, a Tennessee attorney can receive 1 Dual CLE credit. “Dual” credits are CLE credits that can be applied toward either the General or the Ethics & Professionalism CLE requirement.
If an attorney has completed pro bono hours with Tennessee PATENTS on or after January 17, 2019, the attorney may report his or her TN bar number and pro bono hours with our quarterly reports or by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tennesse PATENTS will report all submitted pro bono hours to the Tennessee Commission of Continuing Legal Education for approval.
How do I get a Pro Bono Case?
Tennessee PATENTS sends out a bi-weekly newsletter with available patents cases. The case list is also available on our website on the Available Patents Cases page. When we have a case that is a good fit with your practice area, we will email the case number and details to you for consideration. If you have time to assist this particular client, you can accept the case. You will only receive calls for the areas indicated on the Attorney Information Form.
If you agree to take a pro bono case, we will forward your contact information to the client, who will contact you directly. GLA will send monthly update emails to check the progress of the case.
Am I the client’s general counsel?
No, patents cases are assigned solely for the completion and filing of a patent application. You are not required to assist the client with new legal issues related (e.g. appealing an application) or unrelated (e.g. trademarking a name for the invention) to the application on a pro bono basis. Clients should contact GLA for any new issues that arise, but you may agree to take on the additional work, if you desire.
What do I do when I complete my representation?
At the completion of your representation, you must fill out our online Pro Bono Report to close the case, which we will provide in our quarterly update emails.
The completion of this form is necessary for several reasons. GLA uses this information to track the hours and value of the services GLA provides, which helps us obtain grants to continue our work and discover ways to improve our services.
Do I need malpractice insurance?
Tennessee PATENTS may provide its volunteer patent attorneys with legal malpractice insurance. Please contact Tennessee PATENTS for additional information.
Tennessee PATENTS requires all its volunteer patent agents to be covered by legal malpractice insurance. Due to the cost, Tennessee PATENTS cannot provide malpractice insurance coverage for our volunteer patent agents. However, your own insurance should cover your pro bono work. Check with your carrier to make sure of your coverage.
What about clients that do not qualify for free legal services?
We frequently have clients who do not qualify for pro bono services. Tennessee PATENTS does not offer any services to those not financially qualified.