Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project


Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project

To get help, call: 212.382.6633 or email:


The Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) of the City Bar Justice Center provides low- to moderate-income micro-entrepreneurs with the legal services necessary to start their businesses on sound legal footing.

NELP’s volunteer attorneys guide clients through such matters as incorporation and tax issues, contracts and agreements, commercial lease negotiations, copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Volunteer attorneys also offer presentations and legal clinics at community-based organizations on issues of concern to micro-entrepreneurs.

To date, NELP has partnered with more than 100 law firms, 25 corporate legal departments, and 30 community-based organizations to assist more than 14,000 clients through the provision of brief services, direct representation, legal clinics, and community presentations.

Akira Arroyo directs NELP and Cheryl Lopez is the project coordinator.

NELP Events

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.

Upcoming events
NELP – Legal Clinic - Tuesday, February 27th (5:30 - 7:30PM)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM): A small business legal clinic will be held in Queens at the Queens Economic Development Corporation, located at 36-46 37th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101. By subway, this location is accessible via the M/R to the 36th Street station. To register for an appointment, please contact NELP at (212) 382-6633.

NELP – Legal Clinic - Tuesday, March 06th (5:30 - 7:30PM)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM): A small business legal clinic will be held in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Library, located at 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238. By subway, this location is accessible via the 2 or 3 to the Grand Army Plaza station. To register for an appointment, please call NELP at 212-382-6633.

NELP – Legal Clinic - Wednesday, March 14th (5:30 - 7:30PM)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM): A small business legal clinic will be held in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn NYC Business Solutions Center, located at 9 Bond Street, 5th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. By subway, this location is accessible via the B/Q/R to DeKalb Av; 2/3 to Hoyt St; A/C/G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts; or the 2/3/4/5 to Nevins St. To register for an appointment, please call NELP at 212-382-6633.

NELP Client Spotlight
  • MicroHealth, Inc.

    Entrepreneur Marc Lara’s business, MicroHealth, spans both the technology and healthcare industries as a platform that connects patients with their healthcare providers, allowing providers to monitor treatment progress using digital tools such as smart phone applications.
    Read more

To learn more about MicroHealth, Inc. and other NELP clients click here.

Latest news
  • February 6, 2018
    Scaling Up Small Businesses in New York City

    Small businesses have the potential to bolster New York City’s economy by creating jobs and providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to reach economic stability while at the same time making their dreams a reality. According to Small Business First’s report, of the approximately 220,000 businesses located in NYC, 98% are small (fewer than 100 employees) and 89% are very small (fewer than 20 employees).
    Read more

  • October 12, 2017
    Small Business Resource: Legal Structure Fact Sheets

    The following Entity Formation Fact Sheets are resources developed by NELP which provide a basic overview of the steps an entrepreneur should take to create each type of legal structure.
    Read more

  • September 29, 2017
    NELP’s Summer 2017 Financial Empowerment Workshop Series

    Over the summer, the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) partnered with Barclays and Rise New York to host a free three-part Financial Empowerment series. The series included two educational presentations and a one-on-one session with financial professionals from Barclays.
    Read more