Press Releases
LAF Lauds Local IP Firm Brinks as Champion of Justice
Legal Aid Agency Commends Inspirational Pro Bono Effort By Chicago's Largest IP Firm
June 19, 2013

CHICAGO — LAF, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal assistance to tens of thousands of low-income, elderly and disabled individuals in Chicago and suburban Cook County, has honored Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione with its highest award for the firm's longstanding and broad support of LAF's activities and mission.

Brinks, one of the nation's largest intellectual property law firms, received the Champion for Justice Award at LAF's annual luncheon at Chicago's Palmer House Hilton hotel on June 18, 2013.

'LAF was very helpful in providing our firm with pro bono referral opportunities when Jerry Gilson launched our firm’s formal pro bono program in 2000,' said Brinks president James R. Sobieraj. 'LAF has referred cases to our attorneys continuously since that time, and it's a responsibility we willingly shoulder.'

Over the years, many current and former Brinks attorneys have given time and their financial support to LAF, receiving in return important experience in pro bono practice along with the satisfaction that our community is a better place for it. Current Brinks attorneys who have worked on cases with LAF include Carolyn Brougham, Trevor K. Copeland, Bill Dockrey, Kelly J. Eberspecher, Benjamin I. Edlavitch, William H. Frankel, Vincent J. Gnoffo, Cindy Homan, Angela K. Hsieh, Brian A. Jones, Brad Lane, Laura Beth Miller, Jeff Nichols, Luke Parsons, Janet Pioli, Justin Rand, Raquel Rodriquez, Tiffany Shimada, Steve Smith, Jeremy Snodgrass, Kathy Tabor and Mircea Tipescu.

Brinks encourages attorneys to provide pro bono services in the public interest to persons of limited means. For example, in 2012 alone, 59 attorneys participated in the firm's robust pro bono program, which is chaired by Vince Gnoffo and vice-chaired by Brad Lane.

“Brinks is justly renowned as a patent and intellectual property firm,' notes Diana White, Executive Director of LAF. 'Less widely appreciated is the extraordinary and long-term commitment that Brinks and its lawyers have made to supporting our work.'

White pointed to a history of pro bono work provided to LAF by Brinks and its lawyers. 'Brinks attorneys have represented LAF clients pro bono in immigration, domestic violence, and eviction cases for years,' points out White. 'And Brinks attorneys have served with distinction and dedication on LAF’s governing board and its dynamic Young Professionals Board.'

'We hope Brinks’ example will inspire other firms with specialty practices to get involved with LAF, too, because equal justice is everyone’s concern,' said White. She also noted Brinks' financial support to LAF, including LAF’s annual awards luncheon and as the inaugural sponsor of the organization's annual golf outing, now in its fourth year.

'Whenever we’ve asked,' she added, 'Brinks has responded. They are champions, indeed.”

About LAF
For more than 40 years LAF has provided people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago with comprehensive free legal services to resolve non-criminal issues. Each year LAF’s more than 100 full-time attorneys and staff help resolve civil legal problems, including domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions. Their work impacts more than 40,000 people each year. LAF relies on private donations to fulfill its mission.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
Brinks has more than 160 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property, making it one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them identify, protect, manage and enforce their intellectual property. Brinks lawyers provide expertise in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. The Brinks team includes lawyers with advanced degrees in all fields of technology and science. Brinks has offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor, Detroit, Research Triangle Park, N.C., Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. More information is at