JustCause (formerly Volunteer Legal Services Project)

JustCause established the Micro Entrepreneurship and the Not For Profit Pro Bono Project to provide legal assistance to low-income entrepreneurs that cannot afford legal services, and who wish to start or develop a business or community organization.


What is the Micro-Entrepreneur Pro Bono Program?

Microenterprise development is a community economic development and anti-poverty tool designed to create jobs, promote economic growth, increase social stability, and generally assist low-income individuals who desire to improve their own economic well-being. The Micro-Entrepreneur Pro Bono Program “MPBP” provides pro-bono legal assistance to low-income entrepreneurs who wish to start or develop businesses in economically distressed neighborhoods of Monroe County, through advice, brief service and/or representation by volunteer transactional attorneys. Legal Services Available:
  • The MPBP provides pro bono legal assistance to entrepreneurs on issues including, but not limited to:
  • Choice of Entity
  • Contracts, Licenses or Permits
  • Intellectual property
  • Tax Law
  • Insurance Law and Requirements
  • Other issues that may concern the business
How MPBP Matches Entrepreneurs with Pro Bono Attorneys: The following procedures are taken once an application has been submitted by a potential client: The applicant will be notified to schedule an intake meeting or informed that the business is not eligible.
  • If the applicant is approved a JustCause staff will contact the panel of volunteer business attorneys.
  • If a volunteer attorney accepts the matter, the client will be notified to contact the attorney.
  • The volunteer attorney handles the representation of the client for the discrete business law matter identified in the application.
  • The legal services are provided free of charge, but any filing fees or other out-of-pocket costs would need to be paid by the client.
What is the Not for Profit Pro Bono Program? Community organizations provide a wide variety of services to a broad cross-section of our community. Many of these organizations are small neighborhood-based groups with limited budgets and resources. They may be assisting the poor, disabled, elderly, veterans or other disadvantaged populations. Such organizations are often unable to afford the essential legal services they need to incorporate, operate effectively, sustain themselves, and grow. JustCause established “NFPPB” to meet their legal needs. Legal Services Available:
  • NFPPB provides pro bono legal assistance to community organizations on issues including, but not limited to: Incorporation
  • Drafting organizational documents and by-laws
  • Obtaining tax-exempt status and other tax advantages
The process to obtain assistance from the NFPPB:
  • Community organizations seeking assistance must complete and submit an application form, together with the documents requested in the form.
  • A staff member at JustCause will review the application form and required documents once received, and may contact a representative of the community organization named as the contact person in the application form to schedule an intake meeting.
  • If the community organization’s application is approved after internal review, JustCause will attempt to recruit an attorney to assist the community organization with the legal matter(s) identified in the application form on a pro bono basis.
  • There will be no charge to the community organization for services or those of the volunteer attorney. However, the community organization will be responsible for filing fees and associated costs required by local, State, or Federal agencies.

Services Provided

Economic and Site Development

  • Lease Review (Specialty)

Business Planning

  • Forming a Business (Specialty)

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Policies and Templates

Legal Services

  • Employee Relations
  • Labor Relations
  • Contract Review (Specialty)
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Forming a Business (Specialty)
  • Lease Review (Specialty)
  • Patent Seminars (Specialty)
  • Patent, Trademark & Copyright Information (Specialty)
  • Succession Planning (Specialty)

Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

  • Board Development
  • Technical Services (Specialty)


  • Lease Review Assistance (Specialty)

Product Development

  • Patent Information

Regulatory Compliance

  • Government Requirements
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Patent Information (Specialty)
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits (Specialty)
  • Trademark and Copyright Information (Specialty)

Starting a Business

  • Forming a Business (Specialty)
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits (Specialty)

Tax Services

  • State and Federal Tax Training
  • Tax Registration (Specialty)
Contact Information
Irene Sanchez
One West Main St. Suite 500
Rochester, NY 14614