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
NELP Small Business Webinar on the NEW Corporate Transparency Act - Wednesday, February 28th (1:00-2:00 PM)
A small business virtual legal presentation will be held over Zoom in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library’s Business and Career Center. The Corporate Transparency Act went into effect on January 1, 2024, and is an additional reporting requirement for many small businesses. Discover key insights on the Corporate Transparency Act and Beneficial Ownership reporting for small businesses!
Join us for a quick overview covering who’s impacted, filing requirements, implementation strategies, compliance tips and the challenges ahead. Every small business owner needs to know about this new reporting requirement as non-compliance can result in severe penalties. Please click here if interested in participating.
A small business virtual legal clinic will be held over Zoom in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Business Solutions Center. Registration is required. Please click here if interested in participating.
A small business virtual legal presentation will be held over Zoom. The M/WBE program expands opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs to access government contracts and grow their businesses. This presentation will cover the certification process, eligibility requirements, benefits of certifying, and a quick reference guide that applicants can use as a resource to complete the M/WBE certification. Registration is required, click here to sign up.
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.