Harrity & Harrity, LLP Announces Minority Firm Incubator 2.0

Harrity & Harrity, LLP Announces Minority Firm Incubator 2.0
Diversity Initiative Will Train & Launch Exceptional Minority-Owned Patent Firms 

WASHINGTON, DC (October 18, 2021) Harrity & Harrity, LLP, a leading patent preparation and prosecution law firm, is excited to announce the launch of the Minority Firm Incubator (MFI) 2.0 – a spin-off of a program developed to help women and minorities establish their own patent law firms in an effort to address the disparity of minority-owned firms in the patent field.  The MFI 2.0 is an integral part of Harrity’s ongoing diversity initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of the patent field. The goal of this initiative is to improve and nurture diversity within firm ownership by helping existing minority-owned firms become remarkable in their practice.

“Our firm’s Diversity Mission is focused on fostering inclusion within the legal community and encouraging the growth and success of individuals from all backgrounds. The Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 is a service-oriented program intended to further this mission by helping underrepresented groups flourish in a field where diversity is lacking,” said John Harrity, Co-Chair of Harrity’s Diversity Committee, who is spearheading the program.

In early 2020, Harrity introduced James Bennin as the inaugural participant of the innovative Minority Firm Incubator 1.0, a four-part program consisting of patent drafting, patent prosecution, client development, and business operations training. James excelled and successfully launched his own minority-owned patent firm, Onyx IP Group, in June of 2021. He has already welcomed several new clients, including a Fortune 50 company, and continues to provide impeccable service and high-quality work using many of the skills he gained as a result of his participation in the Minority Firm Incubator 1.0.

While the Minority Firm Incubator 1.0 was successful, Harrity realized that it would be possible to have an even greater impact by working with many attorneys and firms rather than focusing on a single attorney and newly created firm. The MFI 2.0 will be a 100% virtual, 42-week program intended to help existing women and minority-owned patent law firms grow their business, increase efficiency and quality, and improve their overall operations. The expectation is that 6-8 firms will be selected to participate. One of the most exciting features of the MFI 2.0 is the opportunity for the participants to have face-to-face interactions with in-house attorneys at leading technology companies that have committed to the possibility of engaging with at least one of firms at the completion of the program.

The MFI 2.0 will provide extensive training that includes a variety of scheduled lessons, assignments, mentoring, and strategy classes, and will commence with the participants pitching their firms to a panel of in-house intellectual property counsel at leading technology companies.  MFI 2.0 program partners will have the opportunity to serve as guest speakers and mentors, providing a range of perspectives and insights to help guide the firms in their journeys.

Participants will learn how to implement processes to ensure their firm is consistently producing a high quality, uniform work product; how to provide an outstanding customer experience for clients; how to hire and train high-performing attorneys and support staff; how to maintain their diverse ownership and encourage innovation that promotes diversity; how to implement a culture of belonging and innovation; how to create a distinguished firm brand; and how to pitch prospective clients. Using feedback from an initial pitch to the panel and knowledge gained throughout the program, the participating firms will present a new, refined client pitch to the same panel at the conclusion of the program and may be selected to receive work from one or more of the companies based on the reception of their final pitches.

“We believe the immersive agenda of the MFI 2.0 will revolutionize the manner in which participating firms operate their business and showcase their brand, ultimately helping to create and nurture an exceptional business and land prominent clients, starting with our program partners,” says Harrity.

The firm is currently accepting applications from minority firms who wish to partake in the program, which is set to begin on January 11, 2022.  To learn more about the MFI 2.0, participate as a minority-owned firm, or volunteer as a partner, visit https://harrityllp.com/diversity/mfi2-0/.

 

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP:

Harrity & Harrity, headquartered in Fairfax, Va., is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas. The firm has obtained more than 8,600 patents since its founding in 1999. Our clients trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry-leading innovation, and outstanding service. Harrity actively promotes diversity and inclusion at the firm and throughout the legal industry, with an additional focus on giving back to the community through Harrity 4 Charity. Visit us online at harrityllp.com.

 

Diversity is Just Good Business

(October 25, 2021) James Bennin, the inaugural participant of Harrity’s Minority Firm Incubator Program and Managing Partner of the Black-owned Onyx IP Group, explains why diversity is good business in a recent opinion piece for IPWatchdog.com.

“When you exclude alternative points of view, you are not getting the full picture of all the available options and the best possible solution to resolve an issue or matter. Additionally, clients and leadership do not just come from one particular group, they come from diverse groups and circumstances. By having legal counsel that is also diverse, you are better able to relate to a client. Diversity makes the firm and the general practice of law that much more resilient, relatable, and successful.

The article can be read in full on IPWatchdog.com

About Onyx IP Group

With combined experience (private practice and in-house) in the electrical, software and mechanical technology areas, the Onyx IP Group provides legal counseling for patent drafting, patent prosecution, trademark, and transactional matters. Visit us online at https://onyxipgroup.com

See more on Harrity’s diversity initiatives: https://harrityllp.com/diversity

Check out our Driving Diversity vlog:  https://harrityllp.com/thediversitychannel

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP:

Harrity & Harrity, headquartered in Fairfax, Va., is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas. The firm has obtained more than 8,000 patents since its founding in 1999. Our clients trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry-leading innovation, and outstanding service. Harrity actively promotes diversity and inclusion at the firm and throughout the legal industry, with an additional focus on giving back to the community through Harrity 4 Charity. Visit us online at https://harrityllp.com

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Black-Owned IP Law Firm Emerges in Orlando via Minority Firm Incubator

(July 27, 2021) Dan Roe interviews James Bennin on the launch of the Onyx IP Group for Law.com.

James Bennin’s Onyx IP Group is the first minority-owned firm produced by the Minority Firm Incubator, which Harrity & Harrity launched in 2019 with the aim of increasing diversity in the legal profession.

“There’s a need to increase the amount of diversity in the legal field, especially in the patent field,” said Bennin, who is the first college graduate in his immediate family. “Looking at my career, I guess I’ve been fortunate to have the career I’ve had. I felt it was incumbent on me to give back.”

The article, by Dan Roe, can be read in full on Law.com.

About Onyx IP Group

With combined experience (private practice and in-house) in the electrical, software and mechanical technology areas, the Onyx IP Group provides legal counseling for patent drafting, patent prosecution, trademark, and transactional matters. Visit us online at https://onyxipgroup.com

See more on Harrity’s diversity initiatives: https://harrityllp.com/diversity

Check out our Driving Diversity vlog:  https://harrityllp.com/thediversitychannel

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP:

Harrity & Harrity, headquartered in Fairfax, Va., is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas. The firm has obtained more than 8,000 patents since its founding in 1999. Our clients trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry-leading innovation, and outstanding service. Harrity actively promotes diversity and inclusion at the firm and throughout the legal industry, with an additional focus on giving back to the community through Harrity 4 Charity. Visit us online at https://harrityllp.com

Join the Conversation …

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Follow Us:  https://twitter.com/harrityllp

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Harrity & Harrity Launches Black-Owned Firm Through Minority Incubator Program

Harrity & Harrity Launches Black-Owned Firm Through Minority Incubator Program

Florida-Based Onyx IP Group is the first Minority Owned Firm Specializing in IP Law to Come Out of Diversity-Focused Program

Fairfax, Va. — June 21, 2021 For Immediate Release:  Harrity 4 Charity (H4C), the giving-back initiative of Harrity & Harrity, LLP, one of the country’s preeminent patent law firms, is thrilled to announce the launch of the Onyx IP Group (OIPG), the first minority-owned firm to come out of the Harrity Minority Firm Incubator (MFI), a program initiated in 2019 to address the fact that the practice of law remains one of the least diverse professions in the U.S.

Based in Orlando, Florida, OIPG is a 100% Black-owned, Intellectual Property (IP) law firm launched by the MFI’s first graduate, James Bennin. Bennin has approximately 15 years of experience in the IP field, with an extensive background in counseling clients on various IP matters in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. Prior to joining Harrity’s MFI program, Bennin was an associate general counsel handling transactional matters (including IP matters) for the University of Central Florida, one of the largest universities in the country and formerly served as IP counsel at Caterpillar, a large multi-national company, where he counseled multiple business units on matters related to IP.

Raised by a single mother in a low-income household, Bennin was the first college graduate in his immediate family. With African-Americans making up just 1.94% of all equity partners in the U.S., Bennin’s launch of OIPG is making strides for a severely underrepresented group in the field of law.

“I understand the obstacles someone with my background needs to overcome to be successful in this profession and the importance of improving diversity in the legal field,” Bennin said.  “I want to use this program/platform as a means to give back and to help provide a blueprint or guide to success for members of underrepresented groups, so they can see that success in any professional field, more particularly in the legal field, is a realistic possibility in their future.“

Serving as Of Counsel for OIPG are Keri Sicard, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field of IP law and is experienced in a wide variety of technologies from the simple to the highly complex; and Michael Antone, who has over 20 years of experience in large law firm, corporate, and venture capital environments in the area of IP and business operations counseling.

Added Bennin, “I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to launch the Onyx IP Group and am well prepared to provide exceptional work to clients while also furthering my goal of making a positive impact – particularly for those, like myself, in minority groups.”

 

The Stats …  According to the 2019 Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey on overall law firm demographics, 82% of all lawyers and 89% of all partners are Caucasian. Just 2% of all partners are African-American, under 3% are Hispanic and under 4% are Asian. None of the statistics regarding specific minority percentages have changed over the past decade, despite the fact that those populations in the U.S. have increased during the same timeframe.

About the Minority Firm Incubator … Harrity—which has launched a variety of service-driven initiatives under its H4C philanthropic arm—is hoping to help be the change for diversity in the legal field with the MFI program, which supports the recruitment, retention and advancement of attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of the legal field by launching minority-owned patent firms. A year-long, multi-phase program, Harrity’s MFI program works to train minority attorneys in patent law and help them overcome the barriers to launching their own patent law firms. The program encourages minorities to become leaders in the field for both quality and diversity and sets them up for success.

Commented Elaine Spector, a partner at Harrity, who co-chairs the firm’s diversity committee. “Having a diverse workforce leads to a more integrated practice. Women and diverse inventors want to consult capable attorneys who look like them and who understand them and the context of the goals they are working to achieve.”

Adds partner John Harrity, who co-chairs the diversity committee with Spector, “Diversity generates quality legal innovation. The benefits of differential skillsets, outlooks, approaches and ways of processing make a team stronger, bringing varied and valuable insights to cultures, systems and policies, which is what is required to be change leaders.”

More H4C News on ‘Driving Diversty’ … Visit us online to learn more about Harrity’s multi-faceted diversity initiatives, which, in addition to MFI, also include The Diversity Channel, The Harrity Academy and Harrity for Parity: A Women’s Patent Workshop. Visit the firm’s weekly vlog, Driving Diversity, which addresses such issues as hiring practices; how intersectionality relates to underrepresented groups falling into more than one community; implementing the Rooney Rule 2.0; how a firm’s culture affects diversity; flexibility; patents pathways for women of color; mentoring/tutoring programs; and more.

Harrity’s diversity initiatives: https://harrityllp.com/diversity

Driving Diversity vlog:  https://harrityllp.com/thediversitychannel

 

About Onyx IP Group:  

With combined experience (private practice and in-house) in the electrical, software and mechanical technology areas, the Onyx IP Group provides legal counseling for patent drafting, patent prosecution, trademark, and transactional matters. Visit us online at https://onyxipgroup.com

 

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP:

Harrity & Harrity, headquartered in Fairfax, Va., is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas. The firm has obtained more than 8,000 patents since its founding in 1999. Our clients trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry-leading innovation, and outstanding service. Harrity actively promotes diversity and inclusion at the firm and throughout the legal industry, with an additional focus on giving back to the community through Harrity 4 Charity. Visit us online at https://harrityllp.com

 

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