Clinic offers its services in B.C. and hopes to expand to Alberta, Ontario, Quebec by 2021
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP has established the Black and Indigenous Business Law Clinic, which aims to help fight systemic racism and to advance positive and sustainable changes in the business landscape.
The pro bono clinic seeks to address the barriers faced by Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs and small business owners who are trying to venture into the corporate world. It will furnish advice relating to various corporate and commercial matters such as incorporations, structuring, employment matters, e-commerce, non-disclosure agreements, simple lease review and distribution agreements.
The clinic also plans to host seminars to educate new business owners regarding the risks they may potentially encounter as they expand their businesses.
B.C.-based Black or Indigenous-owned businesses that qualify may now apply to avail of the clinic’s services. The firm said that the clinic will offer its services on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations.
By 2021, the clinic expects to offer its services in the firm’s offices in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec and to extend mentorship opportunities to Black and Indigenous students.
“The path to success is never easy for small businesses, and systemic racism and lack of representation can make it that much more difficult for those businesses owned by people of colour and Indigenous peoples,” said the firm in its news release announcing the launch.