The COVID-19 virus and the resulting shelter-in-place orders may have limited our physical mobility, but the needs of Santa Clara Law’s clinic clients have not stopped, and neither have the clinical students. Throughout Santa Clara Law’s clinics, students continue to support their clients and to work on their behalf, going the extra mile for their clients during these difficult times. Here is a brief description of our continuing work.
The Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic continues with business-as-usual during COVID-19. In the coming months we expect there to be a surge in entrepreneurism as a result of the increasing rate of unemployment, and want to be sure we are here to serve the community. Luckily, the ELC uses online case management software from CLIO and uses paperless files, so the shelter in place has not posed a challenge to accessibility of client information. This semester, we are counseling 23 entities in the ELC by delivering semester-long project documentation, 3 of which are nonprofits. Two of the most common issues that we are assisting clients with are based upon recent legislative actions in California – namely, California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which severely limits the ability of our clients to hire workers on a contract basis, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which creates new consumer rights regarding use, retention, protection, and sharing of personal information. The ELC advising clinic (ELAC), a program that uses volunteer attorneys and students to hold short-form advising sessions with startups, continued with their Saturday clinics despite the COVID-19 shelter in place orders. Even though these advising clinics have traditionally been held in person, we quickly transitioned to an online format via Zoom. Through these ELAC sessions, our volunteer attorney/student teams counseled 53 startup clients.