Maryland-Based Law Firm To Offer Black-Owned Businesses Free Year of Legal Services
Maryland-based law firm Shulman Rogers has announced it will offer Black-owned businesses in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., one year of legal services at no cost—if they are approved.
Shulman Rogers’ co-chair and shareholder Kimberly Mann told WTOP that the decision to offer these services as a part of the Shulman Rogers Black-Owned Business Program stemmed from the overall desire for something more impactful for 2023.
“We recognize the need that Black-owned businesses have for legal services. We understand that there are special challenges that face Black businesses, and we would like to do our part to alleviate some of the barriers to entry for smaller, Black-owned businesses,” Mann told the outlet.
The program also aims to help the selected businesses create a solid foundation for overall growth, Mann added.
“That would include things like entity formation,” she continued.
“If the company has already formed, corporate governance services or reorganization, and then beyond that, long-term tax planning, bank financing or venture financing in the seed or pre-seed stages, contract drafting and negotiation, trademark matters, getting their intellectual property rights in order, real estate, and employment matters.”
Mann provided additional criteria that Shulman Rogers’ selection committee want businesses to meet in order to receive this service.
- Validly exist in the jurisdiction
- Have a solid business plan
- Be in an industry with high growth potential
- Exhibit strong entrepreneurial commitment
- Display management team experience
- Demonstrate need
Shulman Rogers states on its website that applications for the year of free legal services will be accepted until Thursday, December 1. Qualifying businesses must be more than 51% Black-owned and controlled and located in either Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Northern Virginia.
Mann told WTOP while she anticipates most applicants will be younger businesses that have not established such things as legal counsel, Shulman Rogers is open to applicants of all experience levels.