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Hofstra Law Students to Provide Free Legal Assistance to Small Businesses Recovering From Superstorm Sandy

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The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University announces a new law clinic, offering free legal assistance to local small businesses as they recover from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Second- and third-year law students will offer transactional (non-litigation) legal assistance on a wide range of legal issues that have arisen in Sandy’s wake.

Nassau County and the surrounding region are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy; in Nassau County alone, more than $1 billion in economic losses are anticipated, and many small businesses need legal assistance to recover their losses and re-establish their operations. According to Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor Michael Haber, who will supervise this new clinic, “Our students are eager to assist those recovering from this storm. As we see in all of our clinics, students can really develop their lawyering skills in a clinical setting and are able, with training and supervision, to undertake quite sophisticated legal work.”

Students participating in this Hofstra Law experiential learning opportunity will do some or all of the following: counsel business owners and managers on how to effectively file insurance claims and on the availability of special government programs for businesses affected by Sandy; counsel on options for raising capital; represent businesses seeking capital in debt and equity finance transactions; review and negotiate the terms of new commercial leases for businesses displaced by the storm; represent businesses purchasing commercial spaces, from negotiating contract terms to representing them at title and finance closings; and represent businesses seeking to rebuild their facilities by drafting, reviewing and negotiating architect and construction contracts.

Jennifer A. Gundlach, the law school’s newly appointed senior associate dean for experiential education, notes, “We are pleased to offer students the opportunity to provide their services to the community on a pro bono basis. It’s a win-win for all — small businesses get free, expert legal advice from students supervised by professionals in the field, and students make a meaningful contribution to the post-Sandy recovery while they work to satisfy the newly mandated pro bono service requirement.”

Small businesses interested in these services, including nonprofits and community groups, should contact Kathleen Conti at 516-463-5934 or Kathleen.A.Conti@hofstra.edu for further information or to apply.

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