Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione Hosts 2nd Annual Just the Beginning Foundation’s 2009 Summer Legal Institute – 3 September, 2009 – CHICAGO – Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, a sponsor of the 2nd Annual Just the Beginning Foundation’s 2009 Summer Legal Institute, recently hosted a luncheon and panel discussion for more than sixty Chicago-area high school juniors and seniors at the firm’s Chicago office. This year Brinks was pleased to team with its client, Accenture, in sponsoring the event.

Brinks president Gary Ropski welcomed the students. Michael Marchant, Senior Counsel Intellectual Property, and Patryce Denson, Global Trademark Lead, both with Accenture Legal Group, along with Brinks associates Robert Summers and Danielle Phillip and Raquel Rodriguez, a summer associate at the firm, sat on a panel moderated by Rather Stanton of the Foundation.

The panel introduced the students to intellectual property law basics and discussed memorable cases and projects that make the practice of law exciting and rewarding for them. Students came prepared with a wide range of questions about patents and trademarks, career opportunities in intellectual property law and the business of law. They also sought advice about how to achieve their educational and career goals.

This is the second year Brinks has hosted the event and the first year the firm has partnered with a client to sponsor the program.

“We are proud that our client Accenture has participated with us in such a worthwhile program. Accenture’s participation allowed us to provide students with information about law firm practice as well as the practice of law and career opportunities in a corporate environment,” said Gustavo Siller, Jr., chair of Brinks’ Diversity Committee. “We will continue to seek out opportunities to collaborate with Accenture and other clients, to build a better, more diverse and inclusive legal profession.”

“Just the Beginning’s program and outreach reflect our belief that an inclusive culture strengthens our ability to deliver innovative solutions to our clients,” said Wayne Sobon, Associate General Counsel, Director of Intellectual Property. “Moreover, it’s an excellent fit with our corporate citizenship focus on building skills that benefit both individuals and the communities in which they live and work.”

Just the Beginning Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting students of color and other underrepresented groups by providing free educational and mentoring programs to inspire at-risk students and increase diversity in the judiciary and legal profession. Built on the contributions of African-Americans in the federal judiciary, the Foundation offers a series of pipeline programs aimed at keeping underrepresented students of all ages on a path towards a legal career.

The Summer Legal Institute is an exciting 9-day program that includes classroom lectures, logic and critical thinking exercises, writing and oral presentation strategies, guest speakers and field trips to law firms, government offices and courthouses. For more information on the foundation, visit

Founded in 1917, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is based in Chicago with five additional offices across the country serving the intellectual property needs of clients from around the world. The firm is one of the largest IP law firms in the country, with 180 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents specializing in intellectual property litigation and all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, intellectual asset management, and technology and licensing agreements. Brinks routinely handles assignments in fields as wide-ranging as electrical, chemical, mechanical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, Internet and computer technology, as well as in trademarks and brand names for a wide variety of products and services. For more information, visit

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