DC Bar Program Boosts Small Biz, Entrepreneurs
This year is the 10th anniversary of the DC Bar Pro Bono Program's monthly free Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic. Last night we stopped by the clinic in the WeWork WonderBread Factory, where it partnered with the Latino Economic Development Center and WeWork. Managing attorney Darryl Maxwell, center, is flanked by volunteers: Batzel Law's Heather Batzel, the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor's Joseph Lapan, Tyco's Christine Corkran, EKM's Emily Morris, and Jack Harlee. Darryl says it started from a desire to support the entrepreneurs that help support and build up their communities. Around 20 to 50 people attend each month to get advice on issues from tax to real estate. Companies including DC Brau, operation:eatery, Mess Hall and Zeke's Coffee have started out with the clinic's advice.
The clinic takes place in a different part of the city each month. About half of the 20 volunteers were first-timers, while others attend nearly every month. Latham's Rami Turayhi (left, with the DC Bar Pro Bono Program's Lauren Paley), is one of the latter. A volunteer of several years, he turns his daytime focus on private equity fund representation into helping clinic attendees with entity formation.
Volunteer lawyers come from all walks (big law, solo practitioner, in-house and government). Law students even work on intake. Yesterday, Georgetown Law student Mariah Trisch helped after finishing a final earlier in the day. We snapped her with fellow first-time volunteers Kirkland partner Robert Gasaway and Latham associate Robert Canning.