Over the past few months (prior to the COVID crisis), Slarskey LLC, a boutique litigation firm in midtown Manhattan, interviewed around ten first-year law students from NYU Law School and Cardozo Law School for a summer internship position. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they decided to focus the firm's efforts on handling pro bono legal work for small businesses in New York City impacted by the market dislocation, and, as part of the efforts, invited a handful of summer interviewees to join in performing legal work. Tyler Kamperschroer, a Cardozo 1L student, is one of the students who joined the effort, and has been balancing his 1L class work with practical legal work–over just the past week, he drafted a memorandum for one retail client on line of credit obligations and indemnification agreement obligations, and drafted a shareholder partnership agreement so that a local foundry can apply for emergency relief funds.
"Slarskey identified early on that many of our community’s small businesses were dealing with similar challenges and that the legal community could provide a valuable service to business owners facing alike, yet unprecedented, pressures," said Kamperschroer. "I am grateful for the experience and know that the work the team at Slarskey is doing is helping folks in a significant way."
David Slarskey, a firm partner, said, "To combat the feeling of paralysis, we turned to each other and said, 'What can we do?' The answer was obvious: open up our virtual doors, and tap our network to offer pro bono help to small businesses with the legal challenges and uncertainties that they are facing in this environment."
He continued, "We had been speaking with several 1Ls about coming to work with us over the summer, and recognized that they might also be feeling anxious, too -- as well as an urge to make a contribution. So we pulled them in, and offered them a chance to work with us in providing 'emergency room' legal services."
The firm has worked with a variety of local businesses, including a vinyl record store, a coffee vendor, a children's toys and clothing store, and a jewelry vendor, on an array of issues arising out of the crisis, including commercial leases, partnership disputes, debt obligations, and vendor and supplier issues.