School navigation

Small Business Legal Clinic



Read more of our stories by clicking on the links below.

  • Image preview
    The Small Business Legal Clinic held their Annual Open House on February 4, 2015.  The evening provided an opportunity to honor small businesses of Oregon and to celebrate the Small Business Legal Clinic and the many people who make the SBLC’s accomplishments possible.
  • Image preview

    Artico Lite Inc. is a family-owned, full service sign company owned by Peter Cao and Jennah Lee.  Since 2000, they have manufactured, installed, and maintained indoor and outdoor lighted and non-lighted signs in Portland.  Jennah handles the administrative, design and planning work and Peter builds and constructs the signs.  Peter began learning about the craft of glass work many years ago. In 1980, just months after moving to America, Peter took a temporary job in New York doing industrial glass work at $3.25 an hour.  His boss was so impressed with Peter’s work that he quickly gave him a 25¢ raise.  Over the course of many years he worked to improve both with speed and skill to become a master craftsman. Eventually he started his own business, bringing his skill in neon to the Portland area.  In June 2014, Artico Lite came through the SBLC’s Intern Program and worked with Intern Silvia Tanner and Professor Susan Felstiner.  Silvia researched the tax consequences of converting from a corporation to an LLC, and drafted the conversion documents and an operating agreement for the LLC.

  • Image preview

    Head’s Up Hair is a salon in east Portland that has been in business since 1959. Many of the stylists have been there 15-20 years. Their mission is to help clients feel great about themselves.  The salon offers haircuts, color, perms, extensions, highlights, lowlights, nail services and waxing.  Maria Ramirez purchased Head’s Up Hair in March of 2013.  In the last year, she has transformed the basic hair cutting salon/barber-shop into a day spa atmosphere with positive results and feedback from customers.  She is currently working on replacing the furniture, adding more stations and hopes to add a private area for waxing in the fall of 2014.

    Part of developing the business meant making big changes. Maria came through the SBLC Pro Bono Project in April of 2014 and met with Attorney Audrey Tam.  After the initial meeting, Audrey helped Head’s Up Hair by reviewing their lease and participating in lease negotiations.   She also assisted with the restructuring of Head’s Up Hair with the state and drafting an independent contractors’ agreement
  • Conscious Coils LLC is a natural hair salon which provides hair stylist and also has a line of natural hair products. Their mission is to renew the collective consciousness of the people by nurturing a healthy self-image and celebrating authentic, natural beauty. In the Fall of 2012 Conscious Coils LLC owner, Amber Starks, came to the SBLC and received help trademarking her product name, drafting a sublease agreement and client waiver form.
  • Tin Cantina LLC is a 1965 Airstream trailer available for private parties as a traveling vintage bar, bridal suites for brides (and grooms) getting married in remote places, and as a traveling sampling venue for food and beverage distributors. In the Summer of 2013 Tin Cantina LLC owner, Deanna Wohlgemuth, came to the SBLC and received help drafting a client contract and rental agreement.
  • Mixteca Catering LLC is a family operated catering business which specializes in authentic Oaxacan cuisine. Mixteca Catering LLC offers catering services for any size group. You can also find Mixteca Catering LLC at local farmer’s market. In the Spring of 2013 Mixteca Catering came to the SBLC and received help forming their LLC.
  • Image preview
    The Meyer Memorial Trust has made a generous three-year grant to the Small Business Legal Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School
  • After extensive careers working as stained glass artists across the United States Christopher Lizon and Jakub Jerzy Kuckarcyzk met in Portland while they were both working at Savoy Studios, where renowned large-scale art glass is produced for commercial investors primarily within the hospitality and entertainment industry. In 2010 they branched out and started their own company The Glaziery LLC. The Glaziery LLC combines both metal work and a variety of glass arts’ processes: stained glass, kiln-forming, glassblowing, etching, mirroring and cold-working. In Spring 2012 Mr. Lizon and Mr. Jerzy Kucharczyk worked with the SBLC to draft an Operating Agreement and a service contact.
  • After many years in the brewery business, Nicholas Munson-Phelps realized there was a need for a good bottle cleaning service. Mr. Munson-Phelps collects dirty glass beer bottles from local retail outlets, washes and sanitizes the bottles, and then sells them to local breweries. He came to the SBLC in Spring 2012 to form an LLC.
  • Bee Local, LLC makes local artisan honey. Honey batches are named based on geographical locations of hives. Honey lines include: Brooklyn, Laurelhurst, Mt. Tabor, Powellhurst, and many more. Bee Local LLC owner, Damian Magista, came to the SBLC in Summer 2012 and worked with an attorney who helped trademark his business name and logo.
  • Tierra Educational Center LLC is a locally owned, independent language school located in NE Portland, Oregon. They offer small group and private Spanish classes of the highest quality for adults and children of all levels. Their experienced and enthusiastic instructors implement Tierra’s well-structured, original curriculum utilizing dynamic and conversational activities for the most effective learning experience. By providing an open and friendly classroom environment and hosting holiday celebrations and conversation nights open to the public, they build community through the sharing of language, culture, and love of learning. Tierra first came to the SBLC in Summer 2011 to draft a liability waiver used for their international education trips and returned in Spring 2012 to revise their Operating Agreement.
  • In their thirst for the perfect job, four people from different backgrounds came together to form Portland Pedal Power LLC, a member-managed company based on consensus decision making. This professional, licensed and insured bicycle delivery service helps accelerate the sales of small, sustainably-minded local business through deliveries and promotional services. Portland Pedal Power LLC has been working with the SBLC since Spring 2011. The SBLC has revised their Operating Agreement, drafted a bicycle lease agreement and helped trademark their name and logo.
  • The story of Mari’s Muffins, LLC begins with a Lake Oswego mother and her admitted sweet tooth. Yet as a registered dietitian she understood the physiological drawbacks caused by eating too many empty calories—often leading kids and parents alike to reach for additional sweet treats. This was not what her family needed, especially for their morning meal. So she put her nutrition know-how and baking skills to the test. After several years of experimentation Mari developed a protein packed, high fiber meal, all in a single muffin. Mari first came to the SBLC in Fall 2011 to form her LLC. She returned the following term to trademark her slogan “Meal in a Muffin.”
  • Image preview

    Attorney Martha Taylor and SBLC students Laura Westmeyer and Spencer Wilson presented to small businesses at the Governor’s Marketplace on April 30, 2014. The Governor’s Marketplace Conference brings together State, Federal and regional government entities along with private sector firms and non-profit organizations, to help Oregon small businesses achieve greater contracting success.

    The presentation covered entity selection and formation, state and federal trademark registration and best legal practices for starting businesses.

  • Image preview
    We work with and invest in organizations, communities, ideas and efforts that contribute to a flourishing and equitable Oregon.  The man behind the Meyer Memorial Trust – Fred G. Meyer – was ahead of his time. His values – to innovate, take risks, embrace diversity, adapt to changing circumstances, contribute to economic development/parity and to develop the power of the mind – continue to create and inform our culture, influencing what we do and how we do it. We fulfill our mission using a mix of strategic, proactive and responsive investments, including grantmaking, loans, initiatives, commissioning research, supporting policy advocacy and a range of community and nonprofit engagement strategies.
  • Image preview
    After a year of lectures and casebooks, I was worried that being a lawyer might not be as great as I thought. But after starting my clinical experience, I knew I would love being a lawyer. Of course the substantive learning I did in class was important, but being able to meet with real clients and working on real matters is an unparalleled experience. I highly recommend that every student interested in transactional practice participate the SBLC intern program
  • The SBLC provides a fantastic opportunity for both law students and the community. I spent two semesters at the SBLC, one as an intern and another as the Student Director. Both semesters gave me valuable practice in the skills I learned at school, and put me in front of small business owners who truly needed my help as they struggled to better themselves and their businesses.

    While the experience I gained was invaluable, I think that the SBLC’s impact on the community is incalculable. The SBLC provides a foundation where aspiring attorneys can learn the value and impact of pro bono services. But more importantly, SBLC provides services to a vastly underserved marketplace; offering support to businesses as they struggle to compete, grow, and navigate through complex business and legal issues.

    I highly recommend the SBLC to both law students interested in business law, and business that are facing challenges and need legal counsel.
  • Image preview
    I spent two semesters at the SBLC, as a Student Intern in Spring 2011 and as Student Director in Fall 2011. I would recommend the SBLC for any student interested in business law. There is no classroom substitute for actually meeting with clients, identifying their legal needs, and working together with them to accomplish their goals. Whereas the academic aspect of law school teaches you the “why” of business law, the SBLC teaches you the “how,” as in how to actually form a business entity or draft an operating agreement. Additionally, the SBLC is unique in that students receive constant support and feedback about the quality of their work and their skills in client interaction.  During my two semesters at the SBLC, I worked on meaningful and interesting projects, such as drafting a complex operating agreement for a manager-managed LLC, helping clients understand the legal effects of an offer letter and an employment handbook, and preparing presentations for CLEs and local business owners. These projects, as well as the support from the SBLC’s clinical professors, gave me a greater understanding about what the practice of business law actually entails. For anyone interested in business law, the SBLC is an excellent way to enhance your practical skills.

    Dan Simon,
    Multnomah County Circuit Court
  • Recent law school grads find innovation and
    patience are valuable in today’s challenging job market