VOLS and Cleary Gottlieb Team Up with NYC Business Solutions to Provide Free Legal Clinic for Small Businesses Affected by Hurricane Sandy

May 29, 2013

SandyHurricane Sandy devastated many areas of New York City and the tri-state Region.  Despite the fact that a number of our own lawyers were displaced and our downtown offices were closed for a week, Cleary Gottlieb sprang immediately into action to help fellow New Yorkers.  Less than two weeks after the firm reopened following the storm, we were working with Volunteers of Legal Service and NYC Business Solutions to provide a free legal clinic for downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn small businesses affected by Sandy.  Cleary Gottlieb identified legal matters relevant to our downtown neighbors, and provided a two-hour training to firm lawyers on landlord-tenant, insurance, employment, contract, and FEMA issues.  More than 30 firm lawyers advised 16 businesses at a legal clinic held at our offices. Additionally, Cleary Gottlieb, in partnership with The Legal Aid Society, committed to staff a weekly clinic for individuals affected by the storm at the Red Hook Restoration Site in Brooklyn.  Firm lawyers also provided legal assistance at other venues around the city, offering advice in English, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.

“At Cleary Gottlieb’s clinic, business owners worn down by waiting in lines at Disaster Recovery Centers and holding endlessly on government phone lines received free, prompt, thorough, and expert legal advice, in person, on matters that were crucial to the survival of their businesses.  The care and effort that Cleary Gottlieb’s pro bono team put into organizing this event, despite the disruption Sandy caused to their regular work, was truly inspiring.”

- Bill Lienhard, Executive Director, Volunteers of Legal Service