If you are living in British Columbia and require legal advice regarding small business or non-profit matters; have limited means of paying for legal advice; and can come to the University of British Columbia Campus in person for an appointment, the Bobinski Business Law Clinic at the Peter A. Allard School of Law (the “Clinic”) at the University of British Columbia may be of interest to you.
The clinic was established in January 2016 as a pilot program with support provided by the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund. In September 2016 a generous funding commitment from Allard Law alumnus Robert P. Pirooz, Q.C. has enabled the Centre for Business Law to continue to operate the newly named Bobinski Business Law Clinic through spring 2017. Mr. Pirooz chose to name the Clinic in honour of former law school Dean, Professor Mary Anne Bobinski.
This program provides segments of the business community, who have limited means, with access to supervised business-oriented legal services at no cost. Legal services at the clinic are provided by law students and are tailored to each client’s unique legal needs, but may include such things as:
- Answering general legal questions regarding small business or non-profit matters
- Reviewing an existing contract or lease and explaining what it means to the client
- Explaining the difference between various business structures including a sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation
- Other business oriented legal advice related to a client’s unique legal issue
The Clinic may also draft legal documents, including but not limited to:
- Constitution, by-laws and incorporation forms for a non-profit society
- Articles, resolutions, registers and share certificates for a private company
- Partnership Agreements
- Non-competition Agreements
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Supplier Agreements
- Offers of employment
- Privacy Policies
The Clinic operates during the law school’s winter session, which consists of a two terms: September to December and January to April. Each term, six upper year law students participate in the Clinic, which provides them with the opportunity to gain valuable client-facing experience. The students are supervised by two accomplished supervising lawyers, Christine Baron and Catherine Chow. Ms. Baron is a sole practitioner and a large portion of her practice involves assisting small businesses and non-profit societies with a variety of legal matters, including incorporations, leases, and non-competition agreements. Ms. Chow is Vice President and General Counsel at Keg Restaurants Ltd, where her broad portfolio includes financing, business development, trademark protection, and real estate.