Venture Law Project


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Pro Bono Legal Services Clinic for Creative Entrepreneurs



Legal Clinic for Creative Entrepreneurs

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Building the Business of the Arts: Contracts for Artists

Miami – Tuesday May 12 – Join pro bono Venture Law Project attorneys at this upcoming Life is Art event for your chance to learn about your rights when contracting and ask questions directly to the attorneys. Advance RSVP today at

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eMerge Americas Tech Conference

Miami Beach – May 1 through 5 – eMerge Americas is a global idea exchange focusing on how technology and innovation are disrupting industries. The conference serves as a platform connecting revolutionary startups, cutting-edge ideas, and global industry leaders & investors across North America, Europe, and Latin America. It’s five intensive, exhilarating days of interactive sessions, networking events in Miami’s most iconic venues, and compelling presentations designed to spark conversation & unleash creativity. It’s eMerge Americas, and it’s back this May. This is not your typical conference!

Join Venture Law Attorneys and meet with seed sponsors of our program over at the Knight Foundation booth located in the Expo Center at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Looking forward to seeing you there!KF logo2015 eMerge Logo

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Gold Coast Venture Capital Association Panel: Legal Advice and Resources for StartUps

GCVCABoca Raton – April 29 – Topics include: 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make In Raising Capital – by David Bates, Managing Partner, Gunster; Intellectual Property Advice for StartUps – by John Christopher, Partner, Christopher & Weisberg; and Pro Bono Resources and Advice for StartUps by Ashley Juchawski, The Venture Law Project.  GCVCA Flier - April 29
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Venture Law Project Workshop – “Key Legal Docs Every Entrepreneur Needs” 

Wynwood- March 31 – The Venture Law Project together with Ask a StartUp Lawer presents “Key Legal Docs Every Entrepreneur Needs” at the LAB Miami March 31st from 6-9PM.

From day one legal documents play an essential role in shaping and protecting a new business and its owners. Early on many startups and entrepreneurs are not sure what documents they need or lack the resources to hire an attorney to help out. Which is why The Venture Law Project and Ask a Startup Lawyer have teamed up to host a workshop about the key legal documents every entrepreneur needs!

At the workshop, participants will be given a set of sample legal documents to take home. During the workshop host attorneys David H. Salmon from Salmon Legal and Ashley Juchawski from the Venture Law Project  will review the samples and provide explanation and insight regarding various key provisions often overlooked or misunderstood by early-stage entrepreneurs.

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Feb 12 Fashion Show SAVE THE DATE

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Internet Law & Social Media @ The LAB Miami – Tuesday December 16th @ 6PM

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RSVP here  

Miami – December 16 – The Venture Law Project together with Loigica P.A. presents: “Internet Law & Social Media – Changing Rules, Legal Compliance & Savy Strategies Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know!”

Join our legal panel Tuesday to learn the risks & rewards of start-ups using the Internet and social media!

Hear from former Yahoo! in-house attorney to learn social media do’s and don’ts for companies highlighting the risks and how to avoid them. From a corporate compliance perspective, learn how strategic / preventative lawyering can ensure start-ups comply with the Internet and other laws that affect their business; also how to plan ahead and take measures now to avoid huge legal fees and costs in the future.

Hear from social media law attorney, author, professor, and founder of Social Media Law and Order to learn how entrepreneurs can use social media and the Internet to accomplish their business goals, spot potential legal pitfalls when using social media in their business, and how to implement strategies to comply with changing laws.


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SIME Miami 2014

MIAMI BEACH – December 1-3 – Join the Venture Law Project at Sime MIA,
logowhich brings together global thought-leaders from  technology, media and the arts to Miami during December 1st, 2nd and 3rd to network and exchange their vision for the future. With a host of internationally recognized speakers and panelists, catch us at one of the local events throughout Wynwood, downtown, and the beach over the next few days!

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How to Start, Run, and Keep a Non-Profit Business Entity 

MIAMI – October 23 – SCORE Miami Workshop, presented by Venture Law Project pro bono attorney Zachariah Evangelista.

Learn how to start, fund and run a not-for-profit.  This workshop will highlight some key differences between the not-for-profit and the for-profit sectors, and will focus on three major areas of operations:

  • Financial accountability
  • Governance
  • Program impact 

Gain valuable insights into how you can meet not-for-profit legal requirements, increase your fund-raising ability, and improve your organization’s impact and overall operation.

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MIAMI – October 22 – Venture Law Project together with tax attorney Ilena Alvarez, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM @MEC261


Are you incorporated as a Limited Liability Company? In the process of starting an LLC?

If so, you should have an Operating Agreement. Here is your chance to work directlyMEC-LOGO-medium with prominent business attorneys in a small group of other startups. SPACE IS LIMITED, available by RSVP only. At this interactive workshop, you can review & revise your existing agreement with an attorney or create a new, specially tailored agreement!

What is an Operating Agreement?

An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedilenaures of your LLC. This agreement allows you to form financial/working relationships with co-owners into an established system suitable to your business. An operating agreement is not required in order to form an LLC in Florida, but is good practice to have one, especially if you are starting a multi-member LLC.


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Pro Bono Legal Services Clinic for Creative Entrepreneurs

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October DCBA Bulletin - Legal Clinic for Creative Entrepreneurs

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Free Legal Panel: Top 10 IP Issues for Startups – Trademark, Copyright & Patents

Wynwood  August 12 – 6:00PM-8:00PM – Hear from prominent Intellectual Property attorneys – Jaime Rich Vining and Mark Stein –  about how to tell a Copyright from a Patent or a Trademark and how each of these can help protect your startup business! They will also cover trade secrets and employment agreements. Also learn how to stay out others’ space and avoid potential infringement claims!

Location: The LAB Miami 400 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127

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Jaime Vining Esq.              Mark E. Stein Esq.

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Q&A: Venture Law Project helps more than 100 entrepreneurs in first 6 months

Read more here:

A common challenge for startups is determining when and where to obtain legal services — as well as coming up with the bucks for the fees. But the consequences of not using one could be huge.

VLP LOGO TMThe Venture Law Project, new this year, advises startups on business formation, filing requirements, drafting legal contracts, negotiating lease agreements, copyrights and trademarks, tax planning and related matters. Qualifying entrepreneurs have free access to training and legal materials, as well as workshops at partner law firms and local incubators.

Ashley Juchawski serves as the Venture Law Project’s staff attorney, providing legal advice and recruiting experts to provide specialized guidance on the many steps that go into starting and sustaining a business.

Juchawski earned her Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens in 2012. She earned an honors Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 2008. From 2008 to 2009 Juchawski 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 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, licensed as an attorney in both Florida and New York, worked at a boutique civil litigation law firm.

Ashley Profilehas been six months since the project began and I wondered how it was going. I caught up with Juchawski and asked her these questions:

Q. What was the driving force behind creating this new program?

A. Failed startup businesses were seen all too often coming to Dade Legal Aid facing bankruptcy, foreclosure, family issues and debt crisis. We were inspired by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s commitment to entrepreneurs and engaged communities, and with the foundation’s support we launched the Venture Law Project as a free legal resource to local startups. Taking a proactive approach, our goal is to help early-stage entrepreneurs get protection under the law and develop on a solid legal footing.

Q. What does your program offer a startup?

A. Startups meet with me to identify areas needing legal assistance. We advise on selecting which type of corporate entity is best suited for the particular business, tax planning, protecting intellectual property rights, aid in filing and preparing the appropriate incorporation documents including legal contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and terms of service privacy policies to name a few.

Q. Approximately how many startups have you helped so far and how many do you hope to help in the first year of the program? 

A. Since January, the Venture Law Project has already provided legal counsel and advice for over 100 different entrepreneurs and startups. As the program continues to grow, we aim to continue providing legal services to as many local startups as possible. The positive response from the startup community has been a clear indicator that this program needs to become a permanent resource.

Q. Approximately how many attorneys or firms are involved? And how are you planning to grow that number?

A. Legal Aid has an extensive network of attorneys willing and able to take pro bono cases. The Venture Law Project has recruited dozens of private attorneys specializing in key areas of corporate law that want to take a startup case. We recruit attorneys to take pro bono cases, speak on legal panels, become a mentor, or host interactive workshops for the Venture Law Project. We actively attend attorney meetings from sections of the Florida Bar, Dade County Bar Association, Young Lawyers, and many others, to increase awareness about the Venture Law Project and encourage new attorneys to get involved. This network is growing every day.

Q. What problems do you see South Florida startups having that could benefit from some legal guidance?

A. From the outset, we want to protect individuals from personal liability­–an easy but often overlooked step. We first encourage incorporation with the state of Florida to register as a separate legal entity. We advise on which type of entity (LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, etc.) is best suited for their business and provide guidance on keeping funds separate. We commonly see startups mixing bank accounts, accepting business checks in their own name, signing documents personally and not on behalf of the company, and other co-mingling of funds that can get them into a lot of trouble. We also help startups protect their company name, logo, slogan, images, and coding algorithms by using nondisclosure agreements, trademarks, copyright and patents.

Q. Can you share a horror story or two? What can happen if a startup doesn’t set things up right on the legal end?

A. We have actually had entrepreneurs in our office say, “we do not need to worry about talking to an attorney until we get sued!” There are a lot that attorneys can do proactively, and should not be considered just a defensive tool once there is trouble.

The biggest problem we see are startups downloading legal forms or documents off the internet, or copying one from a competitor’s site. What works for one business might not work for another. For example, we have seen provisions naming New York, Arizona, or Delaware law to apply without an understanding of how that law will be applied to your case, often resulting in an unintended outcome.

Q. How do startups find out if they qualify for assistance through the program?

A. Each new client fills out an intake application that is reviewed by our board. Reviews are on a case-by-case basis using a variety of criteria given each startup has different operating and overhead costs. An applicant must show financial documentation demonstrating they are not in a position to hire a private attorney for legal services.

Q. Is your service really free? What fees/costs are the startups responsible for paying? 

A. Yes, our services are free to qualifying startups! Clients are responsible for paying any hard costs or filing fees to the state or federal government, but receive the attorney’s pro bono hours dedicated to their case, at no charge.

Q. What’s next for the program? Any interesting events coming up or new initiatives?

A. Coming up July 30 will be a workshop on Corporate Entity Formation at the Miami Entrepreneurship Center, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Then on Aug. 12, we have an expert panel attorney discussion on Protecting Your Intellectual Property – an Overview of Trademarks, Copyright and Patents, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Join us Aug. 13 for a Pro Bono Legal Arts Clinic at the MCAD, where attorneys will be providing local artists, designers, and creative groups with one-on-one consultations from 5:30 to -8 p.m. Stay tuned, as there are many more free events in the works! Suggestions welcome!

Q. Anything else you would like to add? 

A. Anyone interested in learning more about the Venture Law Project may contact me at or 305-579-5733 ext. 2247. You can follow Venture Law Project on Twitter @miamiventurelaw. Our website is

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  Free Legal Workshop: Corporate Entities

Miami – July 30 – 3:30-5:30 Which Corporate Entity is Right for your Startup Business?

Work directly with entrepreneurial development attorneys through a formation checklist to determine where, how, and in what state to incorporate. We will highlight partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and how to convert a registered entity along with the filing documents you will need, such as bylaws, operating agreements, and a certificate of incorporation. We will cover the following key agreements: Stock Purchase Agreements/Stock Certificates, Indemnification Agreements, Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement, Buy/Sell, and more!

Location: MEC 261, 261 NE 1st St Miami, FL 33132

3 of us rkeThe Venture Law Project together with RKE Law Group:
Please email AJUCHAWSKI@DADELEGALAID.ORG with any questions.
Meet the attorneys –


RKE Law Group, an all woman law firm serving South Florida, helps entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives safeguard their businesses and ideas using cutting edge legal strategies that will minimize risk, guard cash flow, and protect their intellectual property. RKE was founded by attorneys, Monica Reyes, Alexandra Kontos, and Lisa Ehrenreich.

More info HERE

RSVP with Prosimity and start networking before the event starts.

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Venture Law Project: Free Legal Service for Startups Fills a Need

By Nancy Dahlberg,

A common challenge for startups is determining when and where to obtain legal services, as well as coming up with the bucks for the fees. But the consequences of not using a lawyer could be huge.

The Venture Law Project, a new service in South Florida, advises startups on business formation, filing requirements, drafting legal contracts, negotiating lease agreements, copyrights and trademarks, tax planning and related matters. Qualifying entrepreneurs have free access to training and legal materials, as well as workshops at partner law firms and local incubators.

“…We were inspired by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s commitment to entrepreneurs and engaged communities, and with the foundation’s support we launched the Venture Law Project as a free legal resource to local startups,” said Ashley Juchawski, an attorney who serves as the Venture Law Project’s staff attorney. “…our goal is to help early-stage entrepreneurs get protection under the law and develop on a solid legal footing.”

Since January, the Venture Law Project has already provided free legal counsel and advice for more than 100 qualifying entrepreneurs and startups, said Juchawski, who recruits from Legal Aid’s network of attorneys willing to take startup cases pro bono.

The Venture Law Project also holds free workshops, including one at 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on July 30 at the Miami Entrepreneurship Center, 261 NE 1st St., Miami. The topic: Corporate Entity Formation. RSVP on Venture Law Project’s website:

Anyone interested in learning more about the Venture Law Project can contact Juchawski at or 305-579-5733, ext. 2247.

Read more here:

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Tech Cocktail’s Miami Startup Mixology Book Launch Celebration

MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT – July 9 6:00 pm 9:00 pm. Join us for this very special Tech Cocktail Sessions event as we launch the book Startup Mixology, by Tech Cocktail’s Founder and CEO, Frank Gruber. Guest appearance by Coco the lama! Featuring Guest Speakers:

Jermaine Dupri – CEO of So So Def Recordings/Global14
Matt Haggman – Miami Program Director at Knight Foundation
Hugh MacLeod- Cartoonist, Writer and Founder at Gapingvoid
Lori Anne Wardi – Vice President of Business Development at Neustar’s Registry Services Group

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Project Attorney Ashley Juchawski and
pro bono attorney Zachariah Evangelista
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Getting a Head Start on Pro Bono

BRICKELL – June 10 – Introduction to Dade Legal Aid and pro bono services. Hogan Lovells
Family law attorney Mark Brown presenting “Top 10 Reasons to do Pro Bono”, followed by family law attorney Stephanie Grossman discussing the Young Lawyers Division and upcoming events. Attorney Ashley Juchawski will speak about the Venture Law Project’s newest programming and workshops, and conclude with final remarks by the Executive Director of Dade Legal Aid, Karen Josefsberg Ladis.

“We love working with Legal Aid.  The pleasure is all ours.  Thanks so much to you Karen for making it possible.  Cheers to another successful year!” – Hogan Lovells associate, Carmen Cartaya

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Ethics by John Berry of the Florida Bar

MIAMI – June 6 – Dade Legal Aid & The Venture Law Project meet with associates at Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell to discuss professionalism, ethics, and pro bono services. Newly recruited attorneys to take on pro bono clients from the Venture Law Project!


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MIAMI – May 29 – Venture Law Project together with Foley & Lardner LLP, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM


Are you incorporated as a Limited Liability Company? In the process of starting an LLC?

If so, you should have an Operating Agreement. Here is your chance to work directly with prominent business attorneys in a small group of other startups. SPACE IS LIMITED, available by RSVP only. At this FREE interactive workshop, you can review & revise your existing agreement with an attorney or create a new, specially tailored agreement!

*Must Bring a Laptop – this is the only requirement for this INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP! Be prepared to create or revise your Operating Agreement, section by section, so you leave with a finished working product. Tablets are not sufficient.

**Foley & Lardner LLP is generously hosting this workshop & sponsoring a light breakfast. law-firm-foley-lardner-llp-photo-331199Yes 9AM comes early, but there will be ample coffee to keep you amped! Workshop will run 9-11AM. Individual one-on-one consultations will be available with the attorneys from 11-12pm as needed.

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Startup Grind Miami Hosts Nancy Dahlberg (Miami Herald: The Starting Gate)

WYNWOOD – May 13 – Join Venture Law Project Attorneys at The LAB Miami tonight from 6-9PM!

Nancy Dahlberg, author of The Starting Gate is a Miami Herald business writer and editor with a passion for entrepreneurship and what makes entrepreneurs tick. She also coordinates the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, an annual contest for entrepreneurs in South Florida.

Her business specialties include entrepreneurship, the startup culture and Miami’s local tech community, small business, economy, personal finance, real estate and consumer issues. Also interested in environmental/green issues, philanthropy, building community, gardening/horticulture, historic preservation and home/design. Nancy-Dahlberg4

The Starting Gate is a highly frequented blog focused on Miami’s rapidly escalating startup community. With categories ranging from crowd funding to co-working spaces, Nancy may have the most inclusive catalog of coverage spotlighting #MiamiTech.
Read more about Nancy’s history of supporting and reporting on Miami’s entrepreneurship culture for over two decades here.

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eMerge Americas Techweek in Miami

MIAMI BEACH – May 2-7 – The Venture Law Project, together with a host of other John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grantees together will participate in eMErge Americans Techweek.

tw_miami_emergeWith more than 100 speakers and about a dozen events, contests, expos and parties, next month’s eMerge Americas Techweek will bring together executives and entrepreneurs from large technology companies and emerging ventures throughout South Florida and Latin America. Together with leaders from Miami’s key industries, such as healthcare and entertainment, they will explore technological advances and trends and shine a spotlight on the region’s emerging tech community.

eMerge Americas Techweek, May 2-7, will be the inaugural conference produced by the Technology Foundation of the Americas, an organization founded by tech entrepreneur and Terremark founder Manny Medina.

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Terms of Service & Privacy Policy Interactive WorkshopMiami Entrepreneurship Center “MEC”

MEC-LOGO-mediumDOWNTOWN MIAMI – April 23 & May 1st – Each 3 hour workshop will help you and your co-founders draft a Terms of Service agreement and a Privacy Policy to be used on your start-up website or mobile application. Space is limited to 12 groups per session, as it is designed to be interactive with the attorney. The goal is for each start-up to leave this workshop with a individualized working legal document in hand.

Due to overwheleming demand, we have added a second workshop on May 1st. If your start-up would benefit from a workshop like this one, please contact to save your spot on a waitlist for the next available workshop!

About the Attorney: Allen F. Bennett

bennettAllen F. Bennett focuses his practice exclusively in the area of Intellectual Property law, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, unfair competition, and internet law. Prior to law school, he was a biochemist studying proteomics, and is a published scientist. Upon completing law school in 2001, Mr. Bennett worked at small intellectual property boutique firms, general litigation firms and as in-house patent counsel for a biotech start up company.

Allen Bennett now manages his own law firm in South Florida. Although his clients have included major universities and research institutes, he concentrates primarily on entrepreneurs and small businesses. He limits his practice to intellectual property matters and has assisted clients in protecting their brand names and trademarks, inventions, trade secrets, software and copyrights.


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Top 10 Venture Capital Law Tips Workshop – The LAB MIAMI

WYNWOOD DESIGN DISTRICT – April 22, 2014 – Join Dade Legal Aid and LOIGICA P.A. for an interactive tech talk about Venture Capital contracts at The LAB MIAMI from 4-6PM.

LAB MIAMIWe are bringing you two experts to delve into the pressing questions startups have had concerning these agreements, like how to properly protect your rights, common mistakes/pitfalls they see when negotiating these contracts, what (if any) bargaining power do startups actually have, how much is too much interest to sell to an investor, along with other practical tips/tricks they can offer, such as what terms are standard and what are some red flags to watch out for!
Hear both perspectives, from the corporate attorney
to an actual investor, to really get the inside scoop!

Don’t miss this FREE event! RSVP today to save your spot! RSVP to

Meet the Speakers:

Attorney – Richard Montes de Oca

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Richard Montes de Oca is the founder and Managing Partner of MDO Partners, a boutique law firm focusing on Corporate, Real Estate and Immigration Law as well as Global Compliance and Business Ethics. He is an AVPreeminent-Rated attorney in Corporate, Contracts and International Law, which is the highest level of professional excellence ranking. He focuses on corporate governance, corporate finance, mergers and acquisition transactions, and securities. He also has extensive experience representing clients in the areas of global compliance and business ethics. Mr. Montes de Oca has been recognized as the South Florida Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40.

Angel Investor – David LeVine

David LeVineDavid LeVine is a self-made Silicon Valley entrepreneur who as a pioneer of SaaS computing was selected as one of the Top 100 Visionaries In Technology. During his career, David has been involved in every aspect of growing a company from startup to funding to exit. A game-changer at heart, he launched the cloud years before companies even considered allowing their systems to go outside their walls. Having experienced the entire Silicon Valley life cycle, David also brings an innate knowledge of growing a technology hub. The pre-valley Fairchild days, the startup of Intel, the Home Brew Club, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, PC networks, Unix servers, the Internet, downsizing, outsourcing, the cloud, and the breaking down of barriers to the new global economy we live in.

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2014 PhilanthroFest

MIAMI – April 12, 2014 – Dade Legal Aid Staff Attorneys Stephanie Grossman and Ashley Juchawski participated in the 2014 PhilanthroFest, the Nation’s Largest Non-Profit Festival. PhilanthroFest features more than 100 South Florida non-profits and community agencies, art, music and dance entertainment, a kid’s zone, a community stage, healthy living section, and other family friendly attractions.

philanthrofestThe event takes place annually in April and is free and open to the public with the goal of connecting potential volunteers and donors to not-for-profit organizations while creating an environment that promotes civic engagement, deepens community connections and sparks the philanthropic spirit of South Florida.

PhilanthroFest’s goal includes providing educational resources to non-profits in the areas of social media and on-line engagement, digital marketing and web development.  PhilanthroFest creates collaborations between public/private partners and industry experts to create the PhilanthroFest Non-Profit Community Engagement Institutes, educational workshops and hands-on learning opportunities that help strengthen non-profits’ communications strategy, donor loyalty and volunteer engagement.  PhilanthroFest helps non-profits excel while connecting the community to their cause.

Dade Legal Aid and the Venture Law Project had an informational booth set up in tent #4 from 10am to 6pm. The attorneys were available for free consultations for interested startup businesses and nonprofits, as well as to provide information about the Venture Law Project’s services and upcoming fundraising events for Dade Legal Aid.

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Young Lawyers Section Gathers to Support Dade Legal Aid and its Venture Law Project

MIDTOWN, MIAMI – March 27, 2014 – Before attending the DCBA Young Lawyers Happy Hour Networking Event to benefit Dade Legal Aid and engaging new attorneys for The Venture Law Project, we visited the co-working space Midtown Offices of Büro.  Büro has 70 members in its mid town location and 80 members in Miami Beach and has hosted a Venture Law Project Workshop featuring attorneys from the corporate legal department of Hughes Hubbard & Reed as part of the firm’s community-wide pro bono public service efforts lead by Gisela Munoz, Esquire.  The next presentation will be held at the Miami Beach location. COMING SOON…

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3RD Annual Non-Profit Organization Pro Bono Legal Services Clinic

A Free Service for Non-profits in the Greater Miami Area

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MIAMI – March 25 2014 – Attorneys provided FREE legal consultations to area nonprofit organizations in this Clinic sponsored by the Pro Bono Committee of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, Dade Legal Aid, Put Something Back, The Venture Law Project supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and HOPE Public Interest Resource Center at the University of Miami School of Law.  All nonprofits, from new startups to developing organizations, were invited for Free consultations on all legal matters, including reviewing legal documents and assisting with bylaws, articles of incorporation, contracts of all kinds, leases & other real estate documents, to name a just few.

The Clinic was a great opportunity to meet local start ups as well as local business attorneys who are available to provide assistance. THANK YOU TO: Daniel Benavides, Kristen Corpion, Professor Elliot Manning, Mark Stein, David Salmon, Adrian Alvarez, Samantha Carr, Myles Cochran, Zachariah Evangelista, Lewis Fishman, Peter Kelly, Karen Ladis and Ashley Juchawski.

IMG_5324Peter Kelly Esq., Judge Carroll Kelly (Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida), Lewis Fishman Esq.

Nonprofit Clinic Executive Board:
Ashley Juchawski Esq., Peter Kelly Esq., Myles Cochran Esq.

Consultations with local Nonprofit Experts & Authors:
Terrie Temkin and Ellen Bristol

Dade Legal Aid Staff & Volunteers registering the Nonprofit Organizations

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Pro Bono Legal Advice to Early Stage Start Ups

MIAMI – March 20, 2014 -As part of an ongoing experience for LAB MIAMI MEMBERS ONLY, if you’re a seed entrepreneur or brand new start-up company with a sharp business plan, please come to talk to us for legal guidance on getting your business up and running.  Areas of Assistance to include:

  •   Business   Formation
  •   Filing Requirements
  •   Drafting Legal   Contracts
  •   Negotiating Lease   Requirements
  •   Intellectual   Property
  •   Tax Planning.

This legal help desk is staffed by Ashley Juchawski and Harry Tapias, Esquire, Director, Co-Founder, Loigica and LAB Member.


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Speed Networking & Mentorship Event
St. Thomas University School of Law


MIAMI – March 10, 2014 – Juchawski participated in Speed Networking Event co-sponsored by the St. Thomas Law Alumni Association and St. Thomas Law’s career services and alumni relations offices. This networking session allowed each student to sit down with high profile attorneys for five-minute conversations.  A reception for the students and alumni took place afterward, providing students and attorneys an opportunity to network with the goal of emphasizing the importance of building connections and expanding your network within the South Florida legal community.  

The 35 students who participated were fortunate to meet with distinguished alumni like Juchawski that they might not have otherwise had a chance to speak with and for many it was their first opportunity to learn about The Venture Law Project at Dade Legal Aid.  Speed networking and mentorship is a great way to speak to current law students in Miami about the services we provide at Legal Aid and introduce them to the Venture Law Project. Brochures and materials were provided to the students about the Venture Law Project with information about volunteer and internship opportunities for students interested in corporate/business/intellectual property law that would like to get involved.


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Dade County Bench & Bar Conference 

Gaining Skills Through Pro Bono and Put Something Back

MIAMI – February 28, 2014-  Dade Legal Aid hosted this Workshop at the Biltmore Hotel Hotel, in Coral Gables, sharing stories and experiences to highlight the benefits of pro bono work to a group of attorneys in private practice. Featured presentations by current and former staff attorneys highlighted the many different programs and services offered at Legal Aid, including bankruptcy, family law, probate, child advocacy and guardian ad litem, landlord tenant, as well as the new Venture Law Project supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Performing pro bono or free legal services to those in need without means to pay an attorney is good for the soul, and good for the bottom line.  For starters, taking pro bono cases is a great way to grow your practice, or learn about a new area of law or to expand your existing practice.  There are many reasons for doing pro bono work, but some of the top reasons are discussed in this workshop which gives compelling reasons for doing pro bono. It makes sense to do pro bono– you get to cut the line at calendar call and your case gets heard first. You get invited and asked to be a speaker at important functions. You get recognition from your colleagues, the judiciary and the community. You learn a new area of law. The clients may have friends who may hire you when they have a fee generating matter. These and a variety of other reasons and opportunities were shared in this workshop.


Dade Legal Aid Staff Attorneys:
Wendy Robbins Esq., Mark Brown Esq., Ashley Juchawski Esq.,
Patrick Morris (Sabadell United Bank), Sintia Saenz Esq.

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Tax Talk with the Experts!

venture law flyerMIAMI – February 27, 2014 – A Big THANK YOU to Tax Attorneys Ed Arista and Ilena Alvarez who took time out of their busy schedules to present this informative workshop co-sponsored by Harry Tapias, Esquire, Director and Co-Founder, Loigica and LAB Member.  Twenty-three different entrepreneurs attended this workshop at The LAB for the free Tech Tax Talk sponsored by Dade Legal Aid and Loigica featuring these talented tax attorneys as part of this ongoing series provided by The Venture Law Project.  This pro bono workshop was made possible by generous support from The Knight Foundation and is geared towards early seed entrepreneurs and start ups.  In attendance were a variety of LAB members who are interested in learning more about the various services offered by Dade Legal Aid and the Venture Law Project which strives to match eligible start ups with civc minded pro bono attorneys and law firms engaged in the areas of business law, taxation and corporate law.



mini logoMeet the Speakers:

Ilena Alvarez, Esq. LL.M Tax
ilenaIlena Alvarez obtained her Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. It was during her years at law school that she fell in love with the area of tax law, since there are not many areas of the law that resonate throughout multiple practice areas. So Ilena went on to obtain a Master of Laws in Taxation – also at Cooley. After four years of very cold weather, she was ready to come back to sunny Florida! Florida is where she calls home (although originally born in New Orleans, LA…go SAINTS!). Ilena also has a degree in Theater from Florida International University. Prior to practicing law, Ilena was a family law paralegal where she was inspired to pursue the practice of law as a career and aspired to provide legal services in an efficient and low-cost way.

Eduardo “Ed” R. Arista, CPA, Esq.
edEd Arista is the managing attorney of Arista Law where he regularly advises closely held companies, family businesses and high net worth individuals. He assists foreign and domestic clients with business, tax, real estate, asset protection and trust and estate planning, as well as defending them against the IRS. Ed also has extensive experience in a broad range of business matters including commercial agreements, business operations and corporate transactions and disputes. First as an accountant and then as an attorney, Ed has been a trusted advisor to individuals and businesses for al-most twenty years.  Ed publishes numerous articles and lectures regularly at international seminars for attorneys, CPAs and business people, and has been an adjunct professor at the Florida International University (FIU), College of Business since 2003. Ed is also licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Florida. He is a fully bilingual and bicultural Spanish speaker who routinely handles sophisticated business and legal matters for those clients and professionals who prefer to communicate entirely in Spanish.

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1_3704670_45883448,192x108,b,1-2ARREBATADOS  — Aired Live on February 11th Spotlight on Dade Legal Aid’s pro bono services, fashion show fundraiser, and new Venture Law Project. Arrebatados host, Maria Laria, interviews project attorney Ashley Juchawski from the Venture Law Project about the free services Dade Legal Aid offers residents in need, and comments about the success of the fundraiser fashion show that launched the new Venture Law Project, providing seed entrepreneurs and startups with free legal assistance.  Link to live interview coming soon!

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An Event Promoting Equal Justice For All

dade legal aid fundraiser med resMIAMI – February 7, 2014 – The world of fashion joined forces with the legal community in an unprecedented fashion show, “Fashion Night on Brickell,” to benefit Dade Legal Aid’s Put Something Back program and its Venture Law Project, Dade Legal’s newest initiative, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to assist seed and early stage entrepreneurs with basic legal needs.
The event was spearheaded by immigration attorney Mayra Joli and held at the famous Espirito Santo Plaza in Brickell.
Guests enjoyed a display of magnificent creations by world-renowned designers like Rosita Hurtado, Juan Carlos Pinera and Lourdes Atencio, as well as a showcase of fine custom jewelry Ccucu by Kissane-Perez Gal-Art.
The event attracted prominent members of the legal community, politicians, foreign consulates, Miami socialites, techies, fashionistas, entrepreneurs and well-known TV personality Willard Shepard of NBC6 News. Sofia La Chapelle, founder of “Un Paso a la Vez” and Orlando Del Carmen broadcast the show to guests who also enjoyed live entertainment and exquisite food pairings by local gourmet restaurants of the Brickell area.
St. Thomas University School of Law students volunteered at the door and sold raffle tickets for items generously donated by local businesses.  The event raised over $6,000 for Dade Legal Aid!

Fashion Show (28)
Dade Legal Aid Staff:
Karen Ladis Esq., Mark Brown Esq., Ashley Juchawski Esq., Bruce Levine Esq.,
Alexandra Mesa Esq., Jessica Napoles, Eileen Coto.

Fashion Show (21)
Fashion Show Executive Production Staff:
Oscar Romero, Mayra Joli Esq., Ashley Juchawski Esq., Andreina Kissaine

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Venture Law Project Helps Startups Find their Legal Footing

Miami-Dade County is quickly emerging as a technology startup hub. But as we attract and nurture startups from around the world, entrepreneurs have many questions about local laws, Florida business regulations and federal compliance. The Venture Law Project is making strides with these idea-makers, offering free legal advice, seminars and access to pro bono attorneys. Most entrepreneurs and startup ventures have a great idea – the next big thing – yet they often don’t have capital financing or the means to hire an attorney to answer pressing legal questions: How do I protect my idea? What type of business entity will limit my personal liability? What are the tax implications? Should I file for patent protection internationally, just within the U.S. or both? How do I trademark my business name and logo?

The Venture Law Project fills a glaring need in the community while building on the mission of Dade Legal Aid. We’re a nonprofit law firm based in the heart of downtown Miami that provides a safety net of critical civil  legal services to qualifying low-income residents and vulnerable groups; we foster the idea of equal justice for all. Knight Foundation support made the Venture Law Project possible, building on trends in Miami’s startup community for maximum impact. It’s a true community partnership, where private attorneys can offer their services pro bono to those in need, working alongside other law firms and co-working campuses that are hubs for local tech. Qualifying startups have free access to expert attorneys and industry leaders at their fingertips.

As project attorney for the Venture Law Project, I see concepts coming to life and entering the marketplace with little or no legal guidance, which is risky business. For instance, I recently met with the creator of a new mobile app, which is launching on the App Store and Google Play next month. She needed help drafting her privacy policy. We asked whether she had thought about filing a patent application to protect her idea before going public. This was something that she figured would be too costly and too time-consuming to worry about now—like most startups still pitching for venture capital funding. You can always figure this stuff out later, right? Wrong. Through the Venture Law Project, qualified startups, like the one mentioned above, are able to receive guidance through the complex and at times confusing areas of business law to protect their legal interests.

We’re going to officially launch the Venture Law Project with Fashion Night on Brickell this Friday. Why combine fashion and the law? The event, with all proceeds benefiting Dade Legal Aid, will bring together people from throughout our region: entrepreneurs, judges, attorneys, fashionistas, anyone who wants to help the startup community. The event will feature fashions and jewelry by famous designers, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, as well as DJs and live entertainment that have been donated as a joint community initiative. It undoubtedly will be fun, but more important, it’s a chance for all of us to support Miami’s emerging businesses. Great ideas deserve great support. The Venture Law Project will provide just that.

Fashion Night on Brickell is slated for Friday, Feb. 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Espirito Santo Plaza, 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami. Tickets are available online for $25 at or at the door for $40.

If you believe your startup may benefit from the Venture Law Project, please email or call 305-579-5733 x2247.

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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

MIAMI – February 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 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. Prior to being hired to propel new Venture Law Project, Juchawski worked at a boutique civil litigation law firm. She is licensed as an attorney in both New York and Florida.

About Dade Legal Aid

Dade Legal Aid (“DLA”), founded in 1949, has 18 dedicated staff attorneys who provide a safety net of critical 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 firm stakeholders 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.

DLA PSB logo

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.


If you have a disability and may require accommodation to fully participate any of the Venture Law Project’s activities, please call Isis Napoles to request an accommodation at (305)579-5733 ext. 2237 or at

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