**Important update** Due to COVID-19, starting March 17, 2020 LSE workshops and Legal Advice Clinics will take place online instead of in-person. In addition, LSE Staff are working from home until further notice. More info
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs is an economic justice and community empowerment project of the Lawyers’ Committee. LSE was founded in 1997 by attorneys who recognized that a small business’s long-term viability may be jeopardized when it forgoes legal assistance on fundamental business matters. LSE provides free transactional legal services to low-income individuals who want to start or develop businesses, businesses committed to investing in economically distressed communities, including hiring people with arrest and conviction records, and mom and pop shops located in areas where gentrification is a force for displacement.
- WORKSHOPS: Topics address a range of legal issues entrepreneurs face when starting or growing a business, including business entity formation, hiring 101, commercial leasing basics, and intellectual property. Click here for a schedule of upcoming workshops.
- CLINICS AND CONSULTATIONS: We offer one-on-one attorney consultations to entrepreneurs who have legal questions related to a start-up or existing businesses in Oakland, San Francisco, and throughout the Bay Area. Click here for a schedule of upcoming clinics and information on signing up for a consultation.
- ATTORNEY MATCHING: In partnership with Bay Area law firms and corporate legal departments, entrepreneurs in need of legal assistance are matched with experienced business attorneys who provide their services free of charge. Some examples of the types of business law matters we will help with are: entity formation, commercial leases, employment issues, customer and supplier contracts, trademarks, and patents. Please Note: LSE cannot assist in the areas of taxation, bankruptcy, litigation, or eviction.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR Attorney Matching?
- Low-income individuals, including women and people of color, who want to start or develop for-profit businesses
- Businesses committed to investing in economically distressed communities
- Existing small businesses (“mom and pop shops”) at risk of displacement
- Click here for information about upcoming workshops and trainings.
ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES for Attorney Matching
- Combining direct legal services with policy advocacy and impact litigation strategies, LCCR advances the rights and builds the economic power of people of color, immigrants and refugees, and low-income communities. When reviewing an application for services, LSE will consider both the individual and his/her business’s impact on the surrounding community.
- LSE recognizes that women and minority business owners often face special obstacles to forming their own business and/or to accessing legal and other services necessary to expand a business. LSE makes a concerted effort to ensure that its eligibility criteria do not perpetuate these barriers or otherwise unfairly exclude any business from equal opportunity.