2014 IP Community Service Award winners

IP Community Service Awards: Honoring Those Who Get the Job Done

“It’s not about finding the time, they just get it done,” is how Wade Walker (J.D.’09), with Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan LLP, introduced the 2014 Intellectual Property Community Service Award recipients.

Recipient Elizabeth Lester (J.D.’05), with Sutherland, volunteers with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. where she helps to raise funds for blood cancer research, education and patient services.

Lester encourages everyone to get involved and do something in their community. “You get back a whole lot more than you give,” she says. Since 2009, the attorney has raised $17, 500 for the society.

To be nominated for the IP Community Service Awards, a candidate must be a member of the intellectual property community, demonstrate an outstanding commitment to community service, motivate others to contribute and display a high degree of professional ethics. The recipients were honored Oct. 21.

“I believe this event is important to remind our colleagues how blessed we are and to show them that others are sharing these blessings in very significant ways with those less fortunate,” said Scott Frank (J.D./M.B.A. ’94), president of the Georgia State University Intellectual Property Advisory Board. “Hopefully, this event will inspire our colleagues in the intellectual property community to increase the sharing of their blessings with others and help make our world an even better place.”

Honoree Patrick Flinn with Alston & Bird’s IP Litigation Group serves on Georgia Legal Services board of directors, where he assists low-income individuals in obtaining legal services. Flinn also coaches law students and attorneys in representing adolescents of this population.

Recipient John Harbin of King & Spalding also works with juveniles. He has been involved with tightening penalties when it comes to trafficking minors and he is a member of the board of directors for Voices for Georgia’s Children, a nonprofit child policy and advocacy organization. During his 30-year career, he has accumulated more than 5,600 hours of pro bono service.

“Every project that I’ve done has been with a very large team,” Harbin says.

Honoree Mark VanderBroek, a partner at the Atlanta office of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough LLP, mentors at-risk high school students. Honored to receive the award, he spoke specifically to young law students.

“A little bit here, a little bit there and it makes a significant impact on the community…get involved make the world a better place and you won’t regret it,” VanderBroek says.

The Community Service Awards helps to motivate the younger members of the IP community, Walker said. “…To build a legacy that includes helping others in need this in turn fosters longstanding contributions that benefit our community over time.”


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