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.

To get help from the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, call 212.382.6633 or email

NELP Services

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.

Direct Pro Bono Representation – to get additional assistance from NELP, call 212.382.6633 or email

To see all upcoming NELP events, view this page.

Not sure if this is the right project? Contact our free Legal Hotline at 212-626-7383.

General Resources

Business Plan Template (2020)

Choosing a Business Name (2022)

How to Obtain a Copy of Your Credit Report

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project Brochure

Piercing the Corporate Veil: What It Means and How You Can Protect Your Small Business (2022)

Piercing the Corporate Veil Video

General Partnership Fact Sheet (2022)

Sole Proprietorship Fact Sheet (2022)

Small Business and the NEW Corporate Transparency Act: What You Need to Know ~ Video (February 2024)

Small Businesses and the NEW Corporate Transparency Act: What You Need to Know (2024)

Small Business Cannabis Presentation Series Resources

Cannabis Business Entity & Tax: Choice of Entity and Taxation ~ Video (December/2023)

Cannabis Business Funding: Raising Capital & Banking ~ Video (December/2023)

Commercial Real Estate & Zoning: Finding the Spot ~ Video (December/2023)

Cannabis Business and Employment (October/2022)

Cannabis Ancillary Businesses (October/2022)

Business Entity Formation (October/2022)

Overview of Tax for Cannabis Enterprises (November/2022)

 Cannabis Business Fundraising 101 (November/2022)

Cannabis Real Estate & Zoning (NYC) (November/2022)



NELP 2021 Report: A Brief Overview

NELP 2020 Pro Bono Report

NELP 2018 Pro Bono Report

Upcoming events
NELP Small Business Contracts Webinar - Wednesday, April 17th (4:00-5:30 PM)

The Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP), in partnership with the Brooklyn Small Business Development Center and Brooklyn Public Library, is hosting a webinar on the basics of contracts for small business owners on Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 at 4:00pm.

To register for the event, click here.

NELP Small Business Remote Legal Clinic - Thursday, April 18th (4:30-6:30 PM)

A small business virtual legal clinic will be held over Zoom for Financial Institution Pro Bono Day. Registration is required. Please click here if interested in participating.

Click here to view a complete list
NELP Client Spotlight
  • Youma’s Beauty

    Husband and wife team, Moussa and Youma Niangadou, are the founders of Youma’s Beauty, an online beauty store devoted to empowering women with curly hair textures through quality hair products.  
    Read more

To learn more about Youma’s Beauty and other NELP clients click here.

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