Juliana Minn ’16 Directs Small Business Legal Clinic
Alumna Juliana Minn’16 was recently named executive director of the Small Business Legal Clinic of Lewis & Clark Law School, leading the clinic in providing business transactional legal advice to new and emerging businesses. SBLC provides practical experience for law students and much-needed services to small business owners who would not otherwise have access to an attorney.
Juliana was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii before moving to Portland, OR, for her undergraduate degree and to Lewis & Clark Law School for her JD. Juliana first encountered the Small Business Legal Clinic as an intern at the law school, and she built on this experience while externing for both a US District Judge and at Fred Meyer, Inc. After graduation, Juliana continued to take on impressive positions supporting a range of businesses in renewable energy, software development, and marketing. Her time at Vestas (a wind turbine manufacturer and wind park developer) and as a Contract Attorney in Private Practice intersected the worlds of business and climate action. She couldn’t have been more grateful for how SBLC prepared her early on at Lewis & Clark, “At the end of the day, large companies with energy needs are still businesses. Experience working with for-profit businesses early on in their legal careers could lead them to work for a renewable energy or energy solutions company later. Basically, there is more than one path to address climate change on a large scale.”
SBLC’s mission brought Juliana back as a staff attorney for the clinic in 2020. “I knew that I always wanted to work at the Clinic since I was a student. I always thought that I would be a staff attorney for the rest of my time at the clinic, but when the opportunity to become Executive Director came up, I decided to jump at the chance. I feel very strongly about the work that the clinic does, and about securing its future, so overseeing it and thinking of ways to improve it is the next level for me.”
As a music production hobbyist and occasional DJ for free “Beat Happenings” in Portland, Juliana has a unique insight on our city’s strong small business culture.“Portland has a culture of encouraging self-expression, and small businesses are definitely a form, or means of self-expression.”
Having been raised by a single-mom who is also a small business owner, Juliana is aware of the challenges small businesses face, and the importance of SBLC’s services. “We provide transactional legal services to small businesses, and this can include a multitude of things, such as advice and guidance on intellectual property, commercial lease negotiations, service contract drafting, and understanding regulations. It’s important that small businesses have access to these services, so that way they start off on the right foot or feel more secure when doing business with others, which can lead to longevity.” Now that she’s an Executive Director, Juliana couldn’t be more excited for what’s next, “I know it’s going to be hard work, but I’m excited that I get to work on improving the clinic with all of the awesome people who already work there and on campus.”