Presentation on theme: "H OW TO G ET P RO B ONO L EGAL S ERVICES FOR Y OUR S MALL B USINESS Angie Hall Staff Attorney Small Business Legal Assistance Program (SBLAP) This presentation."— Presentation transcript:
H OW TO G ET P RO B ONO L EGAL S ERVICES FOR Y OUR S MALL B USINESS Angie Hall Staff Attorney Small Business Legal Assistance Program (SBLAP) This presentation has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers.
Webinar Objectives The Law Project’s Pro Bono Legal Services SBLAP’s Legal Services Eligibility Requirements for SBLAP Application Process and Timeline for SBLAP Frequently Asked Questions
The Law Project’s Pro Bono Legal Services Serve as liaison to low-income clients and volunteer attorneys TLP’s clients (generally): community-based small businesses* and nonprofit organizations, first-time low-income homebuyers –*This presentation will focus on the Small Business Legal Assistance Program specifically –Clients do not have funds to pay for legal representation Recruit volunteers who are licensed attorneys Attorneys only provide “transactional” legal services –NO litigation or disputes TLP staff attorneys serve as resource throughout the representation by the volunteer attorney
The Small Business Program’s Legal Services Providing legal support to entrepreneurs, whether they are just getting started or as their existing businesses continue to grow, by assisting with a variety of transactional matters including: Negotiating lease provisions Determining corporate structure Reviewing trademark or other intellectual property issues Addressing insurance issues Investigating licensing requirements Managing employment issues Negotiating and preparing contracts And much more…
Three Major Eligibility Requirements for SBLAP 1.Consideration of the individual and the business’ potential impact on the surrounding community 2.Income eligibility requirement 3.Referral requirement Each eligibility standard is discussed in more detail in the following slides!
Eligibility Standard #1 A consideration of both the individual and the business’ potential impact on the surrounding community We will evaluate the following factors: –Household Income –Access to credit and capital –Family Size –Number and quality of jobs created for local residents –Benefit to the community
Eligibility Standard #2 Income Eligibility Requirement To qualify, you MUST meet our income eligibility criteria: –Income limits are based on 80% of Chicago Metropolitan Area Median Income –To qualify, income per year must not exceed maximum limit based on size of your household See application for chart –In evaluating eligibility, in addition to income limits, we also consider extenuating circumstances and special needs: Child care, required educational expenses, child support or alimony, special employment expenses or other emergency type financial obligations
SBLAP Eligibility Standard #3 Referral Requirement To qualify, you MUST meet one of the following criteria: 1.Referral from a community-based organization* 2.Complete or participate in a small business development training program sponsored by a community organization* 3.Demonstrate you do not need to take a training class because of sufficient business experience and because the business will be of economic benefit to the community Submit a business plan (recommended) *Community-based organizations are listed on p. 3 of application and include: Women’s Business Development Center; Duman Microenterprise Center and Loan Fund; SCORE Chicago; and Bethel’s Entrepreneurship Training Program
Application Process 1.Fill out an application for the Small Business Legal Assistance Program (available at www.thelawproject.org)www.thelawproject.org –You will be asked to provide personal information, business information, financial information, and information regarding services you are requesting 2.Pay a $35 application fee –Must be in the form of CASH or MONEY order (no checks) 3.Submit application and fee –Application: email, fax, mail, deliver personally –Fee: must mail or deliver personally 4.We review application to determine eligibility –If not eligible we can provide referrals to private attorneys
Timeline for SBLAP 1.Submit application 2.If you are eligible, we will call to give info about next steps and how long we anticipate it taking to find a match –Matching typically takes between 2-3 weeks 3.We will contact you when we have found a volunteer attorney 4.Conflicts check 5.Send file to attorney 6.Engagement letter –Sign and return before first meeting 7.Initial client meeting 8.Attorney works on file 9.Feedback
Frequently Asked Questions What if I am not based in Illinois? What if I need help with a matter that I did not originally list on my application? How should I submit the application?
Contact Information This presentation has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers. Angie Hall Staff Attorney Small Business Legal Assistance Program The Law Project of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (312) 939-3638 extension 228 www.thelawproject.org email@example.com