Foster/Law School partnership to offer free legal consults, negotiation training to BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and women small business owners

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A partnership of the University of Washington Foster School of Business and School of Law is offering a series of free legal consultations and negotiation trainings to help small businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These resources are part of the initiative, “Helping BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and Women-Owned Small Businesses Survive and Thrive Post-COVID-19,” presented by Elizabeth Umphress, an associate professor of management and Evert McCabe Endowed Fellow at the Foster School, and Jennifer Fan, an assistant professor of law and director of the UW’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic.

Jennifer Fan

The series, funded by the UW Population Health Initiative, will kick off July 29 and run through November. It will feature one-on-one free legal consults and group negotiation trainings for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are BIPOC (black, Indigenous or people of color), LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) and/or women.

The free legal consults will be offered virtually every other Wednesday evening for the next few months. During each 30-minute consult, Professor Fan or a volunteer attorney will help entrepreneurs and BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and women small business owners navigate corporate law, employment law and intellectual property law issues. Reference librarians from the Seattle Public Library will also be available during these consults to help with resources.

Elizabeth Umphress

The free negotiation trainings, beginning August 5 and led by Professor Umphress, are designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary to discover optimal solutions to problems faced in negotiations and to find the best means to implement those solutions. Each of the hour-long trainings will be followed by an hour-long Q&A session so that business owners can ask questions and learn more about appropriate negotiation tactics.

Although the legal consults and negotiation training sessions are free, registration through the Seattle Public Library is required (search desired date).

Legal consults and topics fall on the following dates:

Virtual Office Hours – Employment Law Consults:

Virtual Office Hours – Intellectual Property Law Consults:

Virtual Office Hours – Corporate Law Consults:

Negotiation trainings and topics fall on the following dates:

August 5, 4-6 p.m. – Introduction to Negotiations
August 19, 4-6 p.m. – Single Issue Negotiations
September 2, 4-6 p.m. – Negotiations with Multiple Issues
September 16, 4-6 p.m. – Influence Tactics and Advanced Negotiation Strategies
September 30, 4-6 p.m. – Multi-party Negotiations

If you have questions about this initiative or your small business needs help with trademark, patent or company formation issues, please contact the UW Entrepreneurial Law Clinic or learn more here.