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Thomas Jefferson School of Law Small Business Law Center Now Accepting Clients

August 24, 2011


TJSL’s latest legal assistance clinic, The Small Business Law Center (SBLC), is now accepting clients. The SBLC will help underserved local businesses and support community economic development in San Diego. The transactional clinic will provide pro bono legal assistance to small businesses and nonprofits in the community while allowing students to gain hands-on legal experience.

Under the supervision of Professor Luz Herrera, students will work with entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits that do not have the means to hire an attorney. They will provide legal assistance to clients by guiding them through the regulatory process, forming business entities, and drafting, negotiating and reviewing contracts.

“We are excited to provide much needed legal assistance to the underserved population of micro-businesses and nonprofits in San Diego County,” Professor Herrera said. “They are the bedrock of our community and Thomas Jefferson students are thrilled to have a role in supporting community entrepreneurship.”

Students will provide assistance in the following areas: business formation, contract review and negotiation, commercial leasing, subsidized property transactions, nonprofit tax exemption, permitting and licensing, and employment issues. However, students will not go to court for their clients, as the SBLC focuses on the transactional practice of law.

SBLC student participants will be developing skills in client counseling, problem solving, law office management and transactional law practice. They will also be providing a much needed service to the local community by not only giving small businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs with legal assistance, but creating awareness of the legal needs of the community and fostering partnerships within it. The SBLC plans to increase its offerings to target the fledging arts community in San Diego next spring, when it will include legal services involving copyright and trademark law. Students providing such services will be supervised by Professor Jeff Slattery.

Brittney Gallina, 3L, assisted with the initial start-up of the SBLC and will be one of the first students to participate in the clinic this October. “I am going to receive practical skills that I will utilize in any law firm or even my own practice by participating in the SBLC,” Gallina said. “Community organizations, micro- entrepreneurs and non-profits alike are elated with the resources we will provide for community economic development.”

The clinic’s new offices at TJSL will be completed in October 2011, however as stated, the SBLC is now accepting requests for services from potential clients. A client who is interested in obtaining legal assistance from the SBLC must make an appointment, and is required to make financial disclosures for eligibility determination. Contact the clinic at or (619) 961-4382.

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