Irwin IP believes that each attorney has the responsibility to use their legal education and knowledge for the
public good through providing pro bono legal services. This responsibility comes with the role that
attorneys play in society to make sure all people have equal access to justice. Irwin IP has a commitment to pro bono work because it aligns with our professional integrity and ethical values.
Specifically, the Firm has committed to completing a minimum average of 80 pro bono hours per attorney per year. Irwin IP attorneys are encouraged to follow their passion when engaged in community outreach, pro bono representation and when seeking leadership positions. Irwin IP has established partnerships and provided financial support and legal assistance to many organizations whose mission aligns with ours, including, but not limited to Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Lawyers Assistance Program of Illinois, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Greater Chicago Legal Clinic, Sunshine Enterprises, Lawyers for Good Government, American Civil Liberties Union, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, and many other organizations.
Our Firm Founder, Barry Irwin, sits as the President of the Board for Lawyers for Creative Arts (LCA) and has played an integral part in advising and representing artists of all types throughout his career. Barry has put in countless hours creating video content for LCA and authoring Band Law for Bands to educate young lawyers in the fundamentals of representing people in the arts.
Irwin IP has a Pro Bono Committee and encourages senior attorneys to actively supervise associate pro bono work. The Firm also has a dedicated Pro Bono Coordinator and Special Counsel for Entertainment Law and Pro Bono Services, Alexa Tipton.
All Irwin IP attorneys participate in community outreach efforts such as packing meals for families in need at the Chicago Greater Food Depository and beach clean ups through the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Additionally, the Firm believes pro bono work is crucial to attorney professional development and expects that new and lateral attorneys will undertake work on at least one pro bono matter within the first year of starting work at Irwin IP.
Some of our recent Pro Bono representation highlights include:
- Lead counsel for musician sued for trademark infringement. A C.D. Ill. Judge granted default against the musician after his previous attorneys abandoned him days before a responsive pleading was due. Irwin IP entered the case and, despite unfavorable precedent in the C.D. Ill., convinced the judge to set aside the entry of default judgment and allow the case to proceed on the merits.
- Lead counsel for a musician who was sued for trademark infringement. A C.D. Ill. Judge granted default against the musician after his previous attorneys abandoned him days before a responsive pleading was due. Irwin IP entered the case and, despite unfavorable precedent in the C.D. Ill., convinced the judge to set aside the entry of default judgment and allow the case to proceed on the merits.
- Filed trademark and copyright applications for Kendall Alaimo to protect her anti-human trafficking organization’s intellectual property: Registered copyright in Ms. Alaimo’s artwork that was presented to the United Nations and sought trademark protection for her organization.
- Provide legal assistance for Ukrainian nationals to file their I-821s and apply for Temporary Protected Status, which allows Ukrainians to live and work in the United States for a temporary period after their U.S. immigration status lapses due to their country’s current unrest.
- Lead Spanish language workshops through Sunshine Enterprises’ program for Latin American entrepreneurs in the Chicagoland area. The workshops give Irwin IP attorneys the opportunity to provide an overview of intellectual property law, provide access to valuable resources, and answer basic questions in the participants’ native language.
- Defended a client in a felony-murder case who was a victim of an unconstitutional witness identification procedure and an unconstitutional in-court identification by police officers when the witness was unavailable for cross-examination. Although Irwin IP attorneys’ Motion for a New Trial was denied, a later habeus petition was granted on the same principles. The client was ultimately set free in 2020 after the state’s attorney decided not to retry the client.