By Alyssa Gafford-Gaby
The program began in September 2018 with Stephen Mason and K. Lance Anderson, both with Dickinson Wright, PLLC, in Austin, TX. Since then, Mason and the other attorneys from Dickinson Wright have given over 200 hours to Innovation Partners, which equates to over $100,000 of time donated.
“The Pro Bono Office Hours program gave me an opportunity to repay a personal debt to Texas A&M and the Aggie family,” said Mason. “Twenty years ago, Texas A&M changed my life and launched my career. Much of the most important guidance that I received, particularly from alumni, as a young engineering student was provided informally, outside the classroom. The opportunity to return to campus and provide to current students the sort of casual advice that older Ags provided in guiding the early stages of my own career has been one of the most meaningful moments of ongoing involvement with A&M.”
IP Pro Bono Office Hours are available at no cost to Texas A&M faculty, staff, and students. Thirty-minute appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis with IP attorneys from firms across Texas, including many who contract with the Texas A&M University System, to provide legal services for Texas A&M System-owned intellectual property. Attorneys take appointments either in person or virtually to discuss intellectual property related questions on topics ranging from patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patentability. The program has grown from one contributing firm to eleven since it started in 2018.
While the program has grown to include other firms, it wouldn’t have been possible without Mason. Elizabeth Deuermeyer, Innovation Partners Education Concierge, said Mason is always willing to give his time and to answer any questions, aiding greatly to the success of the program.
“Stephen has been an integral player in the success of our pro bono office hour program,” said Deuermeyer. “The idea originated from discussions Mr. Mason had with other members of the School of Innovation, especially from conversations with Andy Morriss, but Stephen led the charge in getting this program off the ground.”
Without the support and continued donation of pro bono hours from Mason and Dickinson & Wright, the IP Pro Bono Office Hours Program wouldn’t be possible or as successful as it is today. Innovation Partners expressed their gratitude by presenting Mason and Dickinson & Wright with an award recognizing their generous contributions to Texas A&M.
Media Contact: Jennifer Briggs