Volunteer attorney Ben Scales, right, assists entrepreneurs during NC LEAP clinic in Asheville.

Mountain BizWorks hosted an NC LEAP Ask-A-Lawyer Day clinic on Friday, Aug. 9, in Asheville. NC LEAP (Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program) is a longstanding pro bono program of the North Carolina Bar Foundation.

North Carolina Bar Association members Jake Farrar, Ben Scales and Tyler Moffatt conducted the NC LEAP clinic, which provides free legal assistance to low-wealth entrepreneurs.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from the Asheville area and provide them with some guidance as they seek to grow their business,” Farrar said. “It’s always great to see the ideas that these individuals have, as well as the passion they bring to the table. I’ll look forward to the next one.”

Moffatt concurred, echoing the sentiments that NC LEAP volunteer attorneys have expressed since the program was established by the NCBA Business Law Section in 2007 – that the experience is as rewarding to volunteer, if not more so, than the citizens being served.

“I personally worked with five entrepreneurs representing industries from the arts to automotive manufacturing,” Moffatt said. “I was able to assist these small business owners in working through the legal challenges presented by various growth opportunities.

“It is a rewarding and motivating experience each time I have the opportunity to work with small business owners through NC LEAP’s programs, and I look forward to the next opportunity.”

Mountain BizWorks, as denoted on its website, is a U.S. Treasury certified non-profit community development financial institution dedicated to building “a vibrant and inclusive entrepreneurial community in Western North Carolina by helping small businesses start, grow, and thrive.” The organization has been in operation for nearly 30 years.

NCBF Pro Bono Staff Attorney Nihad Mansour provides staff leadership for NC LEAP and can be reached by phone (919-677-9875) or email ([email protected]) if you have questions about the program. Additional information is also readily available on the NCBF website (please click here) for volunteers and applicants.