Detroit nonprofits, small businesses can get free legal help regarding COVID-19


Free legal help with pandemic issues is now available to leaders of nonprofit organizations and owners of small businesses, thanks to Michigan Community Resources (MCR).
The COVID-19 Virtual Legal Clinic opened May 6.

“We are very excited to be able to offer nonprofits and small businesses the opportunity to receive valuable pro bono legal support they may not otherwise be able to afford,” said attorney Maureen Krasner, MCR senior program manager. “Small businesses and nonprofits are struggling to navigate the economic and legal impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Support from volunteer attorneys in equipping these organizations and businesses with tools they need to address these concerns will be critical to bringing much-needed resources to our Detroit communities.”

Participating law firms will offer guidance regarding federal funding aid, and transactional advice on leases, contracts, employment issues, reopening guidance, business reorganization, and other questions likely to arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The clinic is available in partnership with the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (L4GG), a nonprofit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates in all 50 states. MCR is part of the growing coalition comprised already of 34 law firms in 30 cities that will staff the online legal clinics.

In Detroit, the free clinic is co-hosted with Miller Canfield. Attorneys from Bodman, Dykema, and Honigman also will provide legal services.

“Small businesses and nonprofits sustain local economies, employ our friends and family members, and add character to our neighborhoods,” said Miller Canfield Principal and Pro Bono Counsel Wendy Richards. “They are the essence of our communities. Our hope is that law firm attorneys can utilize our unique skills to best serve these critical organizations in this time of need.” 

Qualifying nonprofits and businesses with 25 or fewer employees will be offered free 45-minute consultations with attorneys who can answer legal questions in certain areas and help nonprofit leaders and small business owners determine the best paths forward for their organizations.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we have a moral imperative to distribute resources more equitably,” said Shamyle Dobbs, CEO of Michigan Community Resources.

Since its founding in 1998, MCR has provided direct legal services and pro bono legal referrals to nonprofit and community-based organizations in Detroit and throughout the state. MCR also provides a wide range of organizational development services for nonprofits.

Interested nonprofit leaders and small business owners can complete the form on MCR’s website ( to apply for support through the clinic. For those interested in supporting the program, visit


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