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Media Coverage

Being Philanthropic on the Job

March 1, 2013

Media Coverage

Being Philanthropic on the Job

March 1, 2013

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This article was originally published in the Nonprofit section of San Diego Metro magazine in their March 2013 edition.

Volunteering is an important part of the American culture. In 2011, over 25 percent of adult Americans performed volunteer work for a nonprofit organization, often as an extension of their professional lives. Having a good fit is key to a successful volunteering experience, yet finding that good fit isn’t always easy, especially if your professional skills don’t match the needs of most nonprofits.

When Workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit that trains, certifies and places veterans into manufacturing careers at no cost to the veteran, sent an appeal for patent advice to Fish & Richardson — one of the world’s largest intellectual property law firms — attorney John Phillips knew he had found his good fit. A patent lawyer by trade, his unique professional skills weren’t what a typical nonprofit looked for in a volunteer.

So began a relationship between Phillips, Fish and Workshops for Warriors — a relationship in which Workshops for Warriors has found Phillips and his law firm’s resources invaluable, and Phillips has found great satisfaction in helping others. To date, he has filed two patents for manufacturing-related devices designed by Workshops for Warriors and is working on five more, all on a pro bono basis. Lisa Martens, also a partner at Fish, has provided free copyright legal services.

“For a lawyer, pro bono clients are usually individuals with serious criminal or civil problems. Our firm works closely with San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program where the typical client doesn’t have a patent need or a business venture with industrial or commercial application,” says Phillips. “I was elated to be able to do my part to give back when Workshops for Warriors approached us.” Phillips is quick to point out that Workshops for Warriors founder Hernán Luis y Prado intends to become a paying client of Fish. “Hernán has plans to leverage the patents to produce income for his organization. As the saying goes, he isn’t look for a ‘hand out but rather a hand up,’” says Phillips, adding, “It is a matter of honor.”

To learn more about the success of Workshops for Warriors and how Fish’s John Phillips is playing a part, read the full article, “Being Philanthropic on the Job.”

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