Saturday, February 27, 2021

University of York law students offering legal advice to small businesses during lockdown

Law students are offering free legal advice to small businesses online to help people during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The University of York Law School Small Business Legal Clinic is staffed voluntarily by Masters students, with support from supervising solicitors at the university and law firm Ward Hadaway.

The advice offered through the clinic is aimed at entrepreneurs facing many of the common legal issues experienced by start-up and fledgling organisations such as managing data protection compliance, protecting their intellectual property or establishing corporate structures.

Stephen Levett, one of the supervising solicitors at the Law School Clinic, said: “Increasing numbers of undergraduates and graduates are thinking about setting up their own businesses with many choosing to do so here in Yorkshire.

“Sometimes a small piece of legal advice about the business structure, handing Intellectual Property or a contract can make it easier for them to do this successfully.”

Businesses can access one free interview with a law student around a specific subject, and as a result, will receive a free letter of advice offering guidance on the issue.

Nathan Bilton, associate solicitor at Ward Hadaway, said: “We work with a range of clients across many sectors, supporting them to make the right commercial decisions so they can grow their organisations in the right way. Getting the right advice at the right time can make all the difference to a new business.

“We have a history of working with regional universities to support students entering the legal profession and believe it is important that they gain real-life, hands-on commercial law experience to develop their skills and thinking. Our partnership with University of York is another means by which we can give back to those beginning their legal career, as well as our business community.”

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