Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project

Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) provides free civil legal services to low income individuals and small not-for-profits in the greater Western New York region. VLP also offers a number of legal advice and counsel clinics in the WNY Area.


VLP provides FREE legal advice to low-income people opening small businesses. Your business could be eligible if:
  • The owner meets VLP financial eligibility requirements; and
  • The owner has less than $35,000 in disposable capital for the business
  • VLP may make special finding of eligibility if the business is in an economically distressed area and intends to employ low income persons.

Services Provided

Legal Services

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


  • Lease Review Assistance

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • African-American Business
  • City Business Issues
  • Hispanic Business
  • State Business Issues
  • LGBTQIA Business Issues
  • Native-American Business
  • Small Business Policy
  • Women’s Business Issues

Regulatory Compliance

  • Bonding
  • Codes
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Government Requirements
  • Insurance Requirements
  • International Regulatory Compliance
  • Patent Information
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits
  • Trademark and Copyright Information
  • Certification

Starting a Business

  • Registration, Licenses and Permits
Contact Information
Emily Alvarez
438 Main Street
7th Floor
Buffalo, NY 14202