Dade Legal Aid launches free legal service for South Florida startups with Knight Foundation funding

Attorney Ashley Juchawski hired to propel new Venture Law Project

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"Venture Law Project helps startups find their legal footing" by Ashley Juchawski on Knight Blog

MIAMI – (Feb. 6, 2014) – To help foster South Florida’s growing entrepreneurial community, Dade Legal Aid today announced the launch of the Venture Law Project supported by $75,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. As part of the project Dade Legal Aid has recruited attorney Ashley Juchawski to expand its existing services, incorporating free legal assistance to early-stage startups.

“We are very happy to contribute to the building of Miami’s startup momentum," said Karen Josefsberg Ladis, executive director of Dade Legal Aid. “Ashley will bring her experience and business savvy together to optimize this project’s development, expand partner relationships, and increase the viability of Miami’s new venture startups.”

“This project creates a tremendous resource for early-stage entrepreneurs to get the answers they need to move forward,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “It is a draw for both existing startups and new talent, which form the foundation of Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and are key players driving its success.”

The Venture Law Project will advise early-stage entrepreneurs and startups on business formation, filing requirements, drafting legal contracts, negotiating lease agreements, copyrights and trademarks, tax planning and related matters. In addition, entrepreneurs will have free access to training and legal materials, as well as regularly scheduled workshops from partner law firms and local incubators.

Juchawski will serve as the project attorney, providing legal advice and recruiting experts to provide specialized guidance on the many steps that go into starting and sustaining a business. She will begin in her role immediately, contributing to a greater understanding of legal issues across the Miami startup community.

Juchawski earned her Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Fla., in 2012. She earned an honors Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 2008. She joins the project with valuable global business and legal experience. From 2008 to 2009 Juchawski lived and worked in Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing. While in law school, Juchawski studied international law in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, and clerked at a notable commercial and business litigation law firm in Toronto in 2011. She also clerked for Broward County 17th Judicial Circuit Criminal Court Judge Michael A. Usan. Most recently, Juchawski worked at a boutique civil litigation law firm. She is licensed as an attorney in both New York and Florida.

Support for the Venture Law Project forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to attract talent and create new opportunities by strengthening Miami’s emerging community of entrepreneurs, startups and makers.

About Legal Aid:

Dade Legal Aid (“DLA”), founded in 1949, has grown to include 21 dedicated staff attorneys who provide a safety net of legal services to qualifying low-income residents, nonprofit agencies, and startups in Miami-Dade County. “Put Something Back”, DLA’s Pro Bono Project, reaches out and matches private attorneys and law firms with qualifying clients who need assistance in a variety of civil legal matters. Last year, private attorneys and law firm stakeholders provided over 21,000 hours of free legal assistance to thousands of clients. DLA offers attorneys and law firms an avenue in which to offer their services, pro bono, to those in need.  

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.  www.knightfoundation.org

CONTACTS

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, media@knightfoundation.org

Ashley Juchawski, Attorney, Dade Legal Aid, 305-579-1033, ext. 2233, ajuchawski@dadelegalaid.org, 123 NW First Ave. Miami, FL 33128

 

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.