Lewis & Clark Law School’s Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC) provides transactional legal services to low-income small and emerging businesses throughout Oregon. The SBLC reduces legal barriers for individuals who have been historically disenfranchised, such as people of color, women and immigrants.
History of the Clinic
The SBLC opened its doors in 2006 after receiving a $100,000 grant from the City of Portland and reduced-cost office space in downtown Portland.
As the SBLC continued to receive support from local governments, law firms, banks, private foundations, and individuals, it has grown and expanded its services:
- In 2013, the SBLC started the Staff Attorney Program and increased client services through the Pro Bono Project.
- In 2017, the SBLC became the only USPTO-certified program in Oregon that provides expedited trademark and patent service to clients.
- In 2019, the SBLC opened its Rural Program, aimed at serving Native American and rural Oregon entrepreneurs.
Since opening its doors in 2006, the SBLC has provided transactional legal assistance to thousands of small businesses. Seventy-five percent of our clients are businesses owned by women, recent immigrants and people from communities of color.
In addition to providing practical experience for Lewis & Clark law students, the SBLC provides its much-needed services to small businesses who otherwise would not have access to an attorney. By providing these crucial services, the SBLC helps new businesses get started off on the right foot, and helps existing businesses take their business to the next level.