More Pro Bono: USPTO to expand Law School Clinic Certification Program

Press Release

CONTACT: (Media Only)
Paul Fucito or Mandy Kraft
(571) 272-8400 or or

In order to expand pro bono intellectual property offerings across the country, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the submission deadline for its Law School Clinic Certification Program to encourage additional schools to enter the program. 

“The USPTO is committed to ensuring that independent inventors and small businesses receive the help they need to flourish,” Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “Our Law School Clinic Certification Program is designed to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful products and businesses.  The work is critical for expanding innovation across our country and bringing that innovation to impact for US prosperity.”   

Founded in 2008, the program currently includes 61 law school clinics and offers patent and trademark applicants access to pro bono services. It also gives law students, who are strictly supervised by a faculty clinic supervisor, experience in practicing intellectual property law before the USPTO.  “The program not only supports and lifts underrepresented and under resourced innovators and entrepreneurs, it brings more law students from different backgrounds and geographic locations into the fold, strengthening out IP ecosystem,” remarked Director Vidal.

The program is administered by the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). Participating law school clinics must maintain the requirements for USPTO certification in order for students to practice before the agency. 

Submissions from interested law school clinical programs will be accepted on a rolling basis through January 5, 2024. Details of the program expansion and application materials are available on the Law School Clinic Certification Program page of the USPTO website. 

For additional information and application submission guidelines, contact: 
Will Covey, Jim Silbermann or Jennifer Harchick by telephone at (571) 272‐4097 or by e-mail at  lawschoolinformation@USPTO.GOV