VOLS Microenterprise Project Celebrates Pro Bono Week

October 20, 2014

Founder of Sweet Loren’s Highlights the Importance of Pro Bono Legal Assistance to Her Growing Business

Sweet Loren in the Kitchen

“[Pro bono legal assistance] allowed me to jump-start the business, and avoid the pitfalls that a lot of companies in the early stages can fall in. [The volunteer lawyers] were incredibly helpful in creating a contract with my factory that I was confident in and protected by—all which helped us scale.”

– Loren Brill, Founder, Sweet Loren’s

When Loren Brill, founder of Sweet Loren's, was ready to turn her passion for wholesome, healthy treats into a full-time entrepreneurial endeavor, she went to the Baruch College Small Business Development Center for guidance. One of the best pieces of advice that Loren received at this crucial stage was to seek pro bono legal assistance to help protect her intellectual property and to help her navigate the world of commercial real estate in New York City. Fortunately for Loren, the Field Center enjoys a relationship with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, one of New York’s leading law firms, through Volunteers of Legal Service’s (VOLS’) Microenterprise Project.

Field Center staff connected Loren to expert attorneys at Orrick, led by Lisa Magged, an energy and infrastructure associate in the firm’s San Francisco office. Loren knew that she needed to protect her popular recipes from competitors and needed to find a commercial space where she could mix ingredients and package her goods. The volunteer lawyers helped Loren understand the different options related to trademarking her intellectual property, and also negotiated Loren’s lease for her new production facility in New York City.

Lisa Magged, Energy & Infrastructure Associate, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

I really enjoyed working with Loren on her factory contract.  As a junior associate there are few opportunities for me to be the lead attorney working with a client.  I was Loren’s primary contact at Orrick, which means I got to know her, the passion she has for her business, and I gained valuable legal experience in drafting Loren’s factory contract (with supervision from a senior attorney) and counseling her on its terms.  I know how much Orrick’s pro bono assistance means for Loren’s business, and we are proud to be a part of her team.”

– Lisa Magged, Energy & Infrastructure Associate, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

At the VOLS Microenterprise Project, we are thrilled to learn of stories like Loren’s, where promising entrepreneurs are able to take significant steps to grow their businesses with a little support from the volunteer lawyers that participate in our Project. Loren’s story is one of thousands that could be told; each year, hundreds of small businesses are receiving expert legal assistance from our strong coalition of legal partners and their volunteers. We are indebted to these volunteers, and are happy to help celebrate their work during this year’s Pro Bono Week.

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About Volunteers of Legal Service

Our mission is to leverage the good will, resources, and talents of New York City's leading law firms to provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers.

In 2013, nearly 900 lawyers from 50 firms volunteered over 15,000 hours to serve more than 3,000 low-income New Yorkers through VOLS' projects. To learn more about our work and our impacts, please visit www.volsprobono.org.

About Pro Bono Week

Pro Bono Week is a global celebration of the pro bono ethic across all professions that use their talents to make a difference. Inspired by the American Bar Assocation's National Celebration of Pro Bono, Taproot works with partners around the globe to focus attention on the pro bono movement each year during the third week of October.

 In 2013, the celebration took place in more than 10 countries. Every year, there are more and more pro bono professionals in Japan, China, Canada, Hungary, Spain, France, Germany, Singapore, Korea, and the list keeps growing. Check out Probonoweek.org to see how these global leaders are celebrating Pro Bono Week in 2014.