Community Involvement & Pro Bono Work

At Pauly, DeVries Smith & Deffner, we feel privileged to practice law and believe that with privilege comes responsibility. We strive to ensure that everyone has access to the legal system, regardless of income. We also believe in working to improve our communities. Through pro bono work, board membership and other leadership positions and involvement, our attorneys and staff make a positive difference in our local community. Examples of our efforts include:

  • Our attorneys donate hundreds of pro bono hours to representing and advising low-income clients through the Volunteer Lawyers Network and The Advocates for Human Rights.  
  • Our focus on housing law through involvement with the Volunteer Lawyers Network helps many clients avoid homelessness and preserve scarce resources for their most basic needs.
  • Our attorneys donate pro bono services in patent law through the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program, and we have assisted many nonprofit organizations with transactional issues related to intellectual property.
  • Kate DeVries Smith’s pro bono contributions were recognized by the Hennepin County Bar Association’s 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award for Excellence for a private sector attorney. Kate also was named the Volunteer Lawyers Network Volunteer of the Year in 2005.  
  • Daniel Pauly serves as an adjunct Professor of Law at St. Thomas Law School, teaching patent law courses.
  • Mark Deffner serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA).
  • Our attorneys have contributed their technical knowledge to projects and volunteer in leadership and coaching positions with numerous youth organizations.
  • Our firm also encourages financial support of charitable organizations by matching employee contributions.