June 2, Charleston Legal Access, along with law firms Nelson Mullins and Jackson Lewis, launched a South Carolina Virtual Legal Clinic, offering pro bono legal consultations for Lowcountry small business owners and nonprofits to help them navigate the COVID-19 economic crisis and ensuing relief programs. The clinic is part of a nationwide program developed by the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation, a non-profit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates with lawyers in all 50 states.
Qualifying small businesses and nonprofits of 25 or fewer employees will be offered free 45-minute phone or virtual consultations with pro bono attorneys who can answer legal questions and help determine the best path forward for their companies. Consultations will include helping Lowcountry small business owners or nonprofits understand the legislative language in the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and answer any questions related to employment, contracts, commercial leases, insurance and insolvency issues.
LINK FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS TO REGISTER: https://www.charlestonlegalaccess.org/covid-19clinic
Under phase three of stimulus relief legislation passed by Congress, an additional $320 billion has been provided to make new loans under the PPP, which provides forgivable loans to small business that keep employees on the payroll for eight weeks. The measure also includes $60 billion in loans and grants under a separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
“Jackson Lewis is excited to partner with Lawyers for Good Government, Charleston Legal Access, Nelson Mullins, and Lowcountry Local First to launch this clinic. Small businesses and nonprofits are vital to South Carolina’s economy, and we are eager to work with them to overcome the challenges they face because of covid-19,” said Stephanie E. Lewis, Partner, Jackson Lewis.
“In the current climate, small businesses and nonprofit groups are in need of our support. We have come together as law firms to provide our expertise and guidance to these organizations, as well as to simply provide a sounding board for them,” said Taylor Daly, Pro Bono Partner, Nelson Mullins.
“Charleston Legal Access is extremely grateful to all the law firms and attorneys who have committed themselves during this unprecedented time to provide legal advice to our small business and nonprofits that are the heart of our community. Currently, many of these small businesses and nonprofits are cash-strapped and cannot afford private attorneys. Without access to legal advice, they can make decisions that are costly or disastrous down the road. The counsel of pro bono attorneys affords them the ability to rebuild and to contribute to our economy’s growth and stability,” said Lana Kleiman, Executive Director of Charleston Legal Access.
“Hundreds of thousands of small business owners and nonprofits, many of whom already operate on very narrow margins, are still struggling with questions about how their businesses will survive the COVID-19 pandemic. This small business and nonprofit legal clinic can help them navigate the economic crisis that was no fault of their own, and provide them with guidance they desperately need at this time,” said Lawyers for Good Government’s executive director Traci Feit Love.