uOttawa to open Business Law Clinic, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses

Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014

The University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law will open Canada's first bilingual and bijural Business Law Clinic next month. The new program will provide pro bono legal services to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in both official languages, and in both the common and civil law systems.

“We are very excited about this new program, which will be of great value to the business community in the National Capital Region, Eastern Ontario, and beyond,” said Nathalie Des Rosiers, Dean of the Faculty's Common Law Section.

The Business Law Clinic will provide services in corporate/commercial law, intellectual property law, employment law, basic tax law, non-profit and charity law, and commercial arbitration. In addition to offering pro bono services, the Business Law Clinic will host free public education seminars on subjects that are particularly relevant to entrepreneurs and small business people. By making business law information and services more accessible, the Business Law Clinic hopes to foster greater economic opportunity.

This project is a collaboration between the Faculty and many of Ottawa's leading business lawyers, who will supervise upper-year law students as they assist clients. “This is really a win-win scenario,” said Michael Marin, Academic Director of the Business Law Clinic. “Clients will get top-notch legal services that they otherwise couldn't afford, and students will get hands-on experience in business law.”

The new program helps fill an important gap in legal aid services, which are normally limited to criminal, family, and refugee cases, and are very restrictive in terms of financial eligibility. Nevertheless, the legal costs associated with properly starting, maintaining, or expanding a small business or non-profit organization can be prohibitive for many low- and middle-income people, who too often don't get the professional advice they need.

The Business Law Clinic is located in a newly renovated building at 554 King Edward Avenue, and is currently accepting client applications. Prospective clients may contact the Business Law Clinic by email at cda-blc@uottawa.ca or by phone at 613-562-5800 ext. 2971.

Information for media

Danika Gagnon
Media Relations Officer
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2981
Cell: 613-863-7221

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