CBA and Local Law Firms Launch Virtual Small Business Legal Clinic

Written Monday, May 18, 2020

The CBA is sponsoring a statewide COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic (the COVID-19 Clinic) along with Robinson+Cole and other area law firms. The purpose of the clinic is to help Connecticut’s entrepreneurs and small businesses that have suffered adversely from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free, limited-scope legal guidance during 45-minute telephone or video calls with a volunteer attorney. The COVID-19 Clinic is expected to run through August 2020.

“The CBA is proud to sponsor the COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic to support Connecticut-based small businesses and entrepreneurs who have had their livelihood upended as a result of the pandemic,” said CBA President Ndidi N. Moses. “We hope that the legal guidance that results from this clinic will help Connecticut employers and their employees and families during these unprecedented times.”

The COVID-19 Clinic offers the opportunity for Connecticut-based entrepreneurs and small businesses with twenty five (25) or fewer employees to ask questions relating to COVID-19 assistance available under federal or state programs as well as broader legal questions relating to challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics in which small businesses can receive support include loans and grants, contracts and force majeure clauses, employment law matters, real estate and commercial leasing issues, and insurance matters.

Volunteer Connecticut attorneys will provide free, limited-scope legal guidance during 45-minute telephone or video calls with a Connecticut-based entrepreneur or small business. Consultations will include helping Connecticut small business owners understand the legislative language in the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The COVID-19 Clinic is an initiative of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic Task Force and is part of the nationwide program organized by Lawyers for Good Government. Robinson+Cole is serving as the launch and management partner and Aeton Law Partners, Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, Day Pitney LLP, Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, McCarter & English LLP, Murtha Cullina LLP, and Shipman & Goodwin LLP have also signed on to support the COVID-19 Clinic.

“Providing pro bono service to our communities has been a cornerstone of our firm’s 175-year history,” said Stephen E. Goldman, Managing Partner of Robinson+Cole. “We are pleased to work with the Connecticut Bar Association and other participating law firms and in-house legal departments to help small businesses navigate the unique challenges they face during this unprecedented time.”

Attorneys and Connecticut-based entrepreneurs or small businesses interested in participating in the COVID-19 Clinic should visit ctbar.org/smallbusinessclinic to learn more and register. Questions regarding the Clinic should be directed to smallbusinesscovid19virtualclinic@ctbar.org.