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Detroit Free Press: New legal clinic opens to assist small businesses and nonprofits in the COVID-19 crisis.

Detroit's small and nonprofit organizations have a new resource that can help them deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miller Canfield, a law firm, and Michigan Community Resources, a non-profit organization, announced Wednesday that they have teamed up with Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (a nonprofit network consisting of more than 125,000 lawyers with attorneys in all 50 states) to launch the Detroit Nonprofit and Small Business Remote Legal Clinic.

Nonprofits and small businesses "are the heart of our communities." We hope that law firm lawyers can use our unique skills in order to best serve these crucial organizations in this time. Wendy Richards, Miller Canfield Principal and Pro Bono counsel, stated Wednesday in a press release. Miller Canfield is an international law firm with offices across Michigan, including Detroit and Grand Rapids.

According to the news release: Qualifying organizations will receive free 45-minute consultations from pro bono lawyers who will:

  • Offer guidance on language in stimulus packages relating to the Paycheck Protection Program and other programs.
  • Assist with issues relating to reopening.
  • Other legal questions that arise from the COVID pandemic.

Traci Feit love, Lawyers for Good Government's executive Director, stated in the release that "Hundreds of thousands" of small-business owners are still struggling to figure out how they will survive the COVID-19 pandemic. "This small business legal clinic can help them navigate the economic crisis that was no fault of their own, and provide them with guidance they desperately need at this time."

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Attorney Maureen Krasner of Michigan Community Resources, senior program manger, stated in the release that small businesses as well as nonprofits are "struggling with the economic, legal, and social impacts of COVID-19." To bring much-needed resources into our Detroit communities, it will be crucial that volunteer attorneys support these businesses and organizations in equipping them with the tools they need.

Michigan Community Resources requires qualifying organizations to register in order for them to be eligible for the free legal counselling. That website is at http://mi-community.org/legal/covid-19-virtual-legal-clinic.

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