Atlanta – Lawyers for Equal Justice has partnered with the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Resource Center, five law firms in Atlanta, and Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) to launch a remote legal clinic to help small businesses and nonprofits weather the economic impact of COVID-19.
L4GG is a non-profit working with law firms across the country to develop these small business legal advice clinics, which began in partnership with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and the City Bar Justice Center in New York City. The Georgia clinic is sponsored by the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Resource Center in coordination with a partnership of firms including Alston & Bird, Eversheds Sutherland, Kilpatrick Townsend, King & Spalding, and Nelson Mullins.
Qualifying small businesses with 25 or fewer employees and nonprofit organizations can submit their legal question using this online form on the State Bar of Georgia Bar website. Pro bono lawyers with expertise in that particular subject matter will then be matched with a small business to offer a free 45-minute virtual legal consultation, helping small business owners and nonprofits navigate the CARES Act, or questions related to employment, real estate, contracts, and other business-related concerns.
“An extraordinary number of small businesses and nonprofits are suddenly fighting for survival,” said John Fleming, Pro Bono Partner at Eversheds Sutherland. “While our firms may otherwise compete in business, we work side-by-side on pro bono and will always come together to fulfill our professional duty to help the community, now more than ever.”
Small businesses that need more assistance than can be provided in the consultation will be provided referrals to resources like Lawyers for Equal Justice’s network of innovative, socially conscious law firms. “The attorneys in our network strive to serve Georgians who do not qualify for free legal services but may not be able to afford traditional representation,” says L4EJ Executive Director, JoAnna Smith. “That includes many of the small businesses that are looking for support at this time.”
“The State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Resource Center and its parent, Georgia Legal Services Program, have always served the justice interests of rural and small-city Georgians with critical legal issues,” adds Mike Monahan, the director of the Pro Bono Resource Center. “Small businesses across Georgia need the help of our lawyers. I am glad that this partnership can provide needed legal resources to help small businesses – and their employees- get back on their feet.”