The virus has hit all of us hard. It has especially been difficult on small income groups like small scale businesses. They do not know how to stay safe without proper legal help. They don’t want to lose their business at the same time. However, Community Business Clinic of Northeastern University has a solution. It helps small businesses with legal advice. This is only for people who cannot afford a personal attorney. A pro bono legal clinic, it works for small businesses in economically lower neighbourhoods. Jared Nicholson, associate clinical professor of the School of Law supervises it.
The students take the role of lawyers. Then, they take part in activities like interview and counselling. This is done to negotiate agreements, and draft and review documents. Additionally, they represent clients on these matters. Advising clients on complex legal issues about their businesses is also taken care of. Their aim is to make legal help more reachable to the ones in need of it. However, in no way do they want to affect the business of legal attorneys. Nicholson talked about how their aim was to target the groups who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a personal attorney alone. They are aware of the situation legal attorneys maybe in. They are small businesses themselves.
The clinic began in 2012. It has been successfully working ever since. Their recent project was with Plaza and López-Rivera. They helped with the reopening of Red City Fitness. A student named Christopher Hui from the clinic reached out to them. Further, he helped them understand the laws and how to implement the necessary measures. “He was incredibly helpful,” says López-Rivera. “He explained as much as he could. We were very diligent and he was very thorough in the comments that he made.” Initiatives like these, by the University, make the gaps in our society a little less. They make the world a more equal place to live in.
N Malavika Mohan