News Release

Locke Lord, General Electric Launch Partnership to Provide Pro Bono Services to Military Vets, Others in Need in Connecticut

February 5, 2015
February 5, 2015 ­– Locke Lord LLP is pleased to announce a partnership between patent lawyers from General Electric and Locke Lord Edwards to provide pro bono services to military veterans and low-income families in need within Connecticut. Locke Lord recently hosted a kick-off event, at which two not-for-profit legal service organizations, the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) and Connecticut Legal Services (CLS), provided training on how intellectual property lawyers can use their legal skills to provide specialized counsel on veterans’ service discharge upgrades.

“We are excited to continue in GE’s longstanding tradition of providing pro bono legal services to our local community. The partnership with our colleagues at Locke Lord will serve in part to deepen the culture of pro bono volunteerism within GE Corporate’s Intellectual Property Practice Group,” said Catherine Toppin, Senior Patent Counsel and Manager, Global Patent Operation of GE. “We hope that this unique collaboration serves as a model for collaborations between in-house and private practice attorneys. And, we are honored to join a team that is already positively impacting the lives of our friends and neighbors here in Connecticut.”

The Locke Lord team will be led by Associates Joshua L. Jones, and Gabriel J. McCool. This group, along with other Firm lawyers, will work with their GE counterparts in handling these types of pro bono cases and providing guidance and mentoring during the representations. According to Jones, the Firm’s Stamford office Pro Bono Coordinator, this collaboration will provide much-needed services to local communities in Connecticut. “There is a large gap between the need for pro bono services and what is currently available to our friends and neighbors here in Connecticut. We hope to demonstrate to other lawyers that you do not have to stay in your own field of practice in order to mobilize to give meaningful service,” he added.

The CVLC is enthusiastic about this new program. “A lot of lawyers think they can’t help veterans because doing something like a discharge upgrade is nothing like their normal practice,” said CVLC’s Executive Director Margaret Middleton. “But at CVLC we’ve seen lawyers from every type of practice help veterans achieve life-changing legal outcomes.”

CLS Executive Director Steve Eppler-Epstein said: “There are many families in Connecticut facing homelessness simply because the legal services network is maxed out and can’t help all the families with good court defenses. We’re pleased to support these lawyers because they are going to reduce the number of people facing legal crises.”

About Locke Lord LLP

Locke Lord is a full-service, international law firm that consistently ranks among American Lawyer’s top 100 U.S. law firms. On January 10, 2015, Locke Lord LLP and Edward Wildman Palmer LLP combined to create Locke Lord LLP, a Firm of approximately 1,000 lawyers working from 23 offices to meet clients’ needs around the world. With a combined history of more than 125 years and a greatly enhanced domestic and global footprint, Locke Lord is a worldwide leader in the middle market sector. Locke Lord advises clients across a broad spectrum of industries including energy, insurance and reinsurance, telecommunications, technology, real estate, financial services and health care and life sciences, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, regulatory, intellectual property and fund formation teams.