Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need. Our program is all-encompassing, spanning the core issues facing our society.
To address economic inequalities that disproportionately impact low-income and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) business owners and entrepreneurs, Paul, Weiss is committed to providing communities access to pro bono legal resources. Our goal is to create more opportunities for the empowerment of local communities and small businesses, enable under-resourced individuals to grow thriving businesses in underserved areas, and, in turn generate wealth for themselves, their families and their communities. These efforts also reflect our commitment to ensuring that our transactional attorneys have significant opportunities to engage in pro bono matters.
We are involved in numerous economic empowerment initiatives and programs:
- Paul, Weiss hosts an annual partnership with Echoing Green, the leading incubator for social impact startups, to provide legal advice to fellows of its Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund. The fellows are founders of nonprofits or social enterprises that aim to tackle racial justice and racial equity issues.
- Paul, Weiss assisted in taxi medallion loan closings as part of the Taxi Advocacy Project—a New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) initiative to help alleviate the burden of existing debt for New York City taxi medallion owners. The pro bono project is part of New York City’s Taxi Medallion Owner Relief Program and Loan Guaranty Program (MRP+), and provides much-needed assistance to taxi medallion owners who are facing debt and other civil legal issues stemming from ownership of taxi medallions by restructuring their loans on those medallions.
- In collaboration with Start Small, Think Big, one of the leading organizations in New York City serving under-resourced entrepreneurs, Paul, Weiss assists low-income business owners and entrepreneurs on an ongoing basis. Our attorneys assist with many legal topics, including structuring the company, drafting contracts and leases, accessing funding and grant opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses, and understanding debt obligations.
- In partnership with Women Entrepreneurs NYC (WE NYC), Paul, Weiss hosts an annual virtual clinic to provide transactional legal counsel to Black women-owned businesses based in New York City. Recently, attorneys advised owners of small businesses on a variety of issues, including company formation and structuring, access to funding, commercial contract assistance and more.
- Paul, Weiss is working with the Black Economic Alliance (BEA) Foundation, a nonprofit coalition of business leaders advocating for public policies that advance the work, wages and wealth of the Black community. Our corporate and tax attorneys are assisting the BEA Foundation with launching and operating the Black Entrepreneurs Fund, which provides seed, start-up and early-stage capital to businesses founded and led by Black entrepreneurs.
- We led a legal training at Black Connect, a nationwide pro bono network dedicated to assisting Black entrepreneurs and business owners with business-related legal matters. The goal of the program is to quickly and efficiently provide information, expert advice, document preparation, referrals and more on a broad range of business-related issues.
- We played an integral role in the work of the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF) and the funds and grants that have been made available to those suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly low-income and disadvantaged communities. Paul, Weiss lawyers advised the NJPRF on its largest disbursements, drafting and negotiating grant agreements totaling more than $20 million and benefitting over 47 different community organizations and initiatives across New Jersey.