Dell & GDHM Partnership Helps Small Businesses
Like many legal departments undertaking pro bono work, the pro bono committee at Dell Inc.** recognized the importance of providing transactional pro bono projects for its attorneys. In 2009, with the assistance of Texas C-BAR, Dell established a partnership with Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody (GDHM)*† to provide pro bono legal assistance to small businesses. The program provides an opportunity for Dell attorneys to use their skills to benefit small businesses in the community.
Members of the Dell legal department (Dell Legal) and GDHM co-teach a monthly class to clients of BiGAUSTIN, an organization that provides SBA-approved microloans to local small businesses. The class covers a range of topics such as choice of entity, taxation, and intellectual property. Teaching responsibilities are shared equally by attorneys from Dell Legal and GDHM—generally, each class is taught by one member of Dell Legal and one member of GDHM.
The class has been offered nearly every month for the last three years, with an average class size of 25 small business owners. Dell and GDHC estimate that they have served nearly 1,000 clients since the program’s inception. Dell and GDHM recently created a website where attendees can access training materials, including links to websites with information helpful to small business owners.
* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
** denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM