This morning we had The John Marshall Law School at the Chamber Offices to educate membership on the Business Enterprise Law Clinic (BELAW). There were some mighty large takeaways from this workshop, and for those who were not able to attend, we want to share.
BELAW’s mission is to provide pro-bono legal services to those with limited financial resources, tax-exempt organizations and underserved communities.
For start-ups and entrepenuers, BELAW can provide valuable services to properly set up your business entity for just the filing costs. This allows new businesses to start out with all their ducks in a row for little cost. In addition, it is available for many non-pressing business law issues such as forming a business and choosing a business entity suitable to a member’s situation. For current businesses, BELAW can help fine tune regulatory compliance, employment issues, ensure all contracts and customer agreements are legally binding and appropriate for your business. In addition, they can provide advice on loans and loan documentation from banks or third parties. The program can also provide resources on alternative funding sources for existing businesses that are seeking capital to expand but may not have access to traditional loans. Non-profits who wish to augment their revenue stream by establishing an affiliated for profit entity can get advice on how to establish this venture without impacting their tax-exempt status.
The John Marshall Law School offers many pro bono services -- not just BELAW, including trademark and intellectual property law assistance. All work completed through BELAW is done under the supervision of currently practicing lawyers. Local businesses should reach out to the John Marshall Law School for assistance with a variety of business matters. If BELAW cannot assist you, they may be able to refer you to someone who can. The program accepts new clients twice a year in August and January via intake interviews on a rolling basis.
If you want to learn more about the BELAW program, visit their page here.