Sharing this interesting example of how legal clinics and law firms can adapt and support clients while practicing social distancing. A good resource to share with any small business in the US. Do you have any other examples of justice providers remotely supporting impacted populations through this crisis?
30+ Law Firms Sign Up for New Program to Provide Pro Bono Assistance to Help Small Businesses Survive Economic Impact of COVID-19
34 LAW FIRMS IN 30 CITIES ACROSS U.S. WILL OFFER REMOTE LEGAL CLINICS TO ADVISE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS ON STIMULUS BILL BENEFITS AND CORONAVIRUS-RELATED LEGAL ISSUES
Today, Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (L4GG), a non-profit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates with lawyers in all 50 states, announced the launch of its Small Business Remote Legal Clinic, offering pro bono legal consultations for small business owners to help them understand and act upon the options available under the COVID-19 stimulus package and other grant and loan programs that may be available to them.
L4GG has put together a growing coalition presently comprised of 34 law firms in 30 cities across the U.S. to help staff the remote legal clinics, including Kirkland & Ellis; Willkie, Farr & Gallagher; Goodwin Procter; Covington & Burling; Katten Muchin Rosenman; Miller Canfield; Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft; Kramer Levin; Steptoe; and Cohen & Siegel, among others. Participating firms plan to provide guidance to small business owners regarding funding available through the recently-enacted stimulus bill, assistance in filing for grants and loans available through various federal, state, and local programs, and answers to legal questions in various areas most likely to arise as a result of the circumstances surrounding the COVID pandemic.
The pilot program will launch in New York City early next week in partnership with the City Bar Justice Center , and will expand to additional cities across the country in the weeks ahead.
L4GG will partner with local non-profit and legal service organizations, and provide law firms with the resources and tools required to manage the program in each city. Qualifying small businesses with 25 or fewer employees will be offered free 45-minute consultations with pro bono attorneys who can help answer legal questions in certain areas and help small business owners determine the best path forward for their businesses.
Interested small business owners can sign up here to be notified when a clinic becomes available in their city.
According to reports, the COVID-19 stimulus package passed by Congress will include $350 billion in aid to small businesses. This includes up to eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to qualifying companies.
“Almost out of the blue, small businesses are suddenly struggling for their very survival. It is the professional duty of the legal community to come together to offer advice and guidance to them so that they can continue to provide incomes for their employees, and goods and services to their communities. We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to give back to these hardworking people by providing high-quality free legal advice and assistance,” said Jacqueline Haberfeld, Pro Bono Counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
“Hundreds of thousands of small business owners, many of whom already operate on very narrow margins, are struggling with questions about how their businesses will survive the COVID-19 pandemic. This small business legal clinic can help them navigate this unanticipated economic crisis, and provide them with guidance they desperately need at this time,” said Lawyers for Good Government’s executive director Traci Feit Love. “Not only do these businesses provide necessary services in communities all over the country, they provide employment, job training, and other benefits to so many hard-working Americans. Their survival is essential to the strength of our economy and vital to our communities, and it is critical that we do whatever we can to help sustain these businesses and their employees until this crisis subsides.”
To support this important work, click here to donate .