Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project
Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project
The City Bar Justice Center’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) provides free legal support to microentrepreneurs of limited economic means who seek to achieve financial stability through entrepreneurship. By providing free legal services to communities that have been traditionally disenfranchised, we help NELP clients achieve financial independence and break the cycle of poverty created by systemic inequality, while bringing jobs and services to the communities where they live and work.
NELP’s volunteer attorneys provide assistance through legal presentations, legal clinics and direct pro bono representation. They assist entrepreneurs with issues such as entity formation, contracts & agreements, commercial lease reviews & negotiations, and intellectual property protections.
To date, NELP has partnered with more than 100 law firms, 25 corporate legal departments, and 30 community-based organizations to assist more than 18,000 clients through the provision of brief services, direct representation, legal clinics, and community presentations.
Akira Arroyo directs the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and Liam Broderick is the project coordinator.
Small Business Legal Clinics – NELP’s legal clinics provide microentrepreneurs with the opportunity to speak one-on-one with an attorney regarding their small business legal issues. Frequently discussed topics include: business structure, incorporation, contracts and agreements, commercial leasing, and intellectual property protection. In order to attend, you must register in advance.
Presentations – NELP’s volunteer attorneys give presentations on small business legal issues at local community development organizations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
To see all upcoming NELP events , view this page.
Small Business Cannabis Presentation Series Resources
Week 1 – Cannabis Business and Employment
Week 2 – Cannabis Ancillary Businesses
Week 3 – Business Entity Formation
Week 5 – Cannabis Business Fundraising 101
Week 6 – Cannabis Real Estate & Zoning (NYC)
COVID-19 Small Business Resources
From Pandemic to Prosperity: Innovating and Adapting as a Small Business – Watch video
Commercial Lease Considerations During COVID-19 – Watch video
FACT SHEETS & GUIDES ON ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
Recovery Guide: Resources and Aid for Small Businesses (Download)
Small Business Insurance Claims for Protest-Related Damages Information Sheet (Download)
A small business virtual legal clinic will be held over Zoom in partnership with the Upper Manhattan Business Solutions Center. Registration is required. Please click here if interested in participating.
A small business virtual legal presentation will be held over Zoom in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library’s Business and Career Center and the Brooklyn Small Business Development Center. This presentation will provide small business owners with an overview of intellectual property rights through a discussion of Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, and Patents. The webinar will delve into the process of obtaining legally recognized IP protections as well as discuss common IP pitfalls for microentrepreneurs. Registration is required. Please click here if interested in participating.
Small business owners face an array of endless challenges ranging from money management to customer retention – issues that have heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tania Lopez, a NYC-based microentrepreneur, is no stranger to the difficulties of operating a small business.
April 26, 2022
Micro-Entrepreneurs Go Digital: How the Pandemic Stimulated Online Business Growth and Opportunities
When the Covid pandemic swept through New York two years ago, our city looked to the online business community to access goods and services that were once found in brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, most business owners were forced to re-evaluate their business models to accommodate the growing demand for online shopping if they hoped to survive the pandemic.
September 9, 2021
The Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) provides free legal support to New Yorkers of limited economic means who seek to achieve financial stability through entrepreneurship. The following exchange with Victor includes unique insights from his time volunteering with NELP’s CV-19 Clinic and a message to lawyers about doing pro bono work.
September 2, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic plagued the world, the U.S. shut down and businesses were forced to close their doors. No one anticipated just how devastating the pandemic would be for our city’s 240,000 small businesses, which were hit harder than many larger establishments.