Saul Ewing LLP And Corporate Attorneys Provide Free Legal Services To Philadelphia Start-up Companies
The owners of two dozen start-up companies in Philadelphia received needed legal counsel from Saul Ewing LLP attorneys and in-house counsel, both of whom partnered with Philadelphia VIP on October 29, 2013, to sponsor Corporate Pro Bono Day. The well-attended event gave the small business entrepreneurs who otherwise cannot afford legal fees an opportunity to get free legal advice.
Founded in 1991 by Community Legal Services and the Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia VIP provides civil legal services to individuals who cannot afford to hire an attorney to solve legal problems threatening their basic needs.
Nearly 40 attorneys from most of Saul Ewing’s offices on the East Coast joined in-house counsel from Berkley Life Sciences, BNY Mellon, Cigna, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Exelon, Lincoln Financial Group, Pep Boys, Pershing LLC, PNC, TE Connectivity, RightAction, Inc. and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP for the event. The entrepreneurs are starting businesses in industries such as child care, fitness, retail, food service and nutrition and wellness.
“This was an excellent opportunity for Saul Ewing’s attorneys to collaborate with in-house counsel to serve the public,” said Frederick D. Strober, a partner in Saul Ewing’s Real Estate Practice and chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. “The experience reminds us that there are people all over Philadelphia who need assistance in understanding legal issues they may face as they launch their businesses. Partnering with Philadelphia VIP helps Saul Ewing learn where needs exist and how our firm can help.”
In addition to providing pro bono opportunities for transactional lawyers, Philadelphia VIP hopes the event will promote community economic development. The entrepreneurs are enrolled in a 10-week business development course through the Women’s Business Development Center in Philadelphia. The consultations they received are part of the course work. The Center was also a sponsor of the Corporate Pro Bono Day.
Prior to the pro bono sessions, six Saul Ewing attorneys presented a free CLE course, “An Introduction to Legal Issues for Entrepreneurial Businesses” to aid participating attorneys. The presenters were:
- Deborah L. Spranger, vice chair of Saul Ewing’s Business and Finance Practice and co-chair of the Life Sciences Practice
- Chad T. Williams, chair of the Family Business Practice and co-chair of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Practice
- Harriet E. Cooperman, co-chair of the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Practice
- Stephen J. Driscoll, partner in the Intellectual Property & Technology Practice
- Anthony J. Forte, partner in the Real Estate Practice
After the CLE course, Saul Ewing attorneys were partnered with the corporate attorneys to assist the pro bono clients.