The launch of a startup businesses is often fraught with early-stage legal issues.
To ease some of the frustration, a few law students are offering to help western Nebraska entrepreneurs take their first steps.
On Monday, Aug. 4, student attorneys from the University of Nebraska College of Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic will make stops in Chadron and Scottsbluff as part of an outreach tour geared toward engaging businesses in rural areas. John Cantril, Preston Peterson and Megan Rotherham will deliver free presentations at both stops that will provide an overview of the legal services the clinic offers, such as representation and counseling.
Cantril, a Scottsbluff native, said the aim of the presentations is to educate local businesses and startup ventures, attorneys and other service providers.
“We’ll talk about what it does and how it can help (entrepreneurs) get off the ground,” he said.
The clinic acts as a sort of incubator. Its services are free, but representation is limited to certain early-stage matters with the intention of referring clients to local attorneys for further assistance.
For that reason, Cantril said the students are looking to build a sustainable network between the clinic and attorneys, businesses and economic development stakeholders that will create opportunities for collaboration and foster startup business and economic growth in Panhandle communities.
“We’re not competing with local law offices,” he said. “The clinic only takes clients that can’t afford the help at that time. That’s why we’re hoping to develop those relationships during this tour,” he said.
Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation will host the tour’s first stop with a luncheon at the Country Kitchen at 1250 W. 10th St. in Chadron at noon Monday. The tour will then proceed to Scottsbluff, where a second presentation will be held at the Twin City Development building at 1620 Broadway at 5 p.m.
TCD Executive Director Rawnda Pierce hopes the tour will build a greater connection between the clinic and western Nebraska communities.
“This is a great opportunity. When businesses are first starting up, their biggest questions often have to do with legal and accounting,” she said. “By answering these questions early on, hopefully it helps establish a stronger business in the long run.”
To learn more, visit law.unl.edu/eclinic or call (402) 472-1680.