Social Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, and Artists Receive Advice in Corporate Clinic Programs

May 15, 2018

In April and May 2018, dozens of Cleary Gottlieb lawyers, working alongside corporate in-house counsel, participated in a series of brief legal advice clinics and in-person consultations for social entrepreneurs, small business owners, and artists who sought legal assistance.

Clients received legal advice on an array of legal issues including contract drafting and review, entity selection and formation, corporate governance, intellectual property issues, and employment issues. Through this work, Cleary has been able to leverage the firm’s capacity and the capacity of its corporate clients to provide corporate and transactional services to greater numbers of entrepreneurs and organizations in our communities.

In April 2018, the team counseled six startup social enterprises on corporate structure and contract drafting matters, as well as on a range of employment and intellectual property issues, through our pilot program with the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI). This was Cleary’s second round of consultations with CSI, which provides community and workspace to startups with a social mission.

The firm also provided small business legal counseling services to low-income entrepreneurs at a Start Small Think Big pop-up clinic in Harlem and through monthly Small Business Office Hours with a corporate client in Cleary’s New York office. Among our pro bono clients were a daycare owner, a personal trainer, and a baker who has struggled with addiction and homelessness.

In partnership with a corporate client, Cleary also hosted an Arts & Entertainment Legal Advice Clinic on May 2, 2018, and consulted with six artists and arts organizations on an array of issues, including a copyright infringement dispute for a T-shirt graphic design company, contract review for a novelist and film production company, General Data Protection Regulation compliance for an international artist nonprofit, and fiscal sponsorship advice for a youth literacy organization.