Smart Air, a social enterprise that is committed to helping people breathe quality air through its low-cost air filters, recently received the “Powered by Pro Bono Award” at this year’s TrustLaw Awards by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
This award highlights how NGOs or social enterprises can benefit from pro bono legal advice to scale up their operations, improve the delivery of their social mission or pivot their activities to make a greater impact on the businesses and people they support.
In 2021, TrustLaw connected Smart Air to law firms in various jurisdictions, including SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw), to help register Smart Air’s trademark. This ensured its intellectual property rights are protected, making its products accessible to more countries.
SyCipLaw partner Ma. Patricia B. Paz-Jacoba, guided by SyCipLaw Intellectual Property Department head Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan, assisted Smart Air. Ms. Paz-Jacoba shared that, ”when the Smart Air project came through TrustLaw, I jumped at the chance because I was familiar with the assistance needed,” and added that, “pro bono work provides me with a sense of self-fulfillment and makes me feel re-committed to the practice of law, which spills over to my billable matters.”
Ms. Paz-Jacoba concluded: “It is a great reminder that we practice law to help people. With the Smart Air project, their vision resonated with me, especially in the time of the pandemic when everyone has become more conscious of the air they breathe.”
Smart Air is a certified B corporation, a company that’s verified by London-based B Lab, a non-profit network working to transform the global economy to benefit various communities, after meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal program. The annual awards celebrate the remarkable pro bono projects by legal teams with NGOs and social enterprises around the world. Their work has found innovative solutions to some of the world’s most critical social and environmental challenges and empowered those on the frontlines with the tools to deliver positive change.