b'ENTREPRENEURS OF COLORRECEIVE STRATEGIC GUIDANCEIt has been extremely valuable EvenbeforetheCOVID-19pandemic,Blackactivities, including mentoring minority studentsto have Mintz entrepreneursfacedsignificantchallengesat the University of San Diego School of Law.inlaunchingandgrowingtheirbusinesses.At the first webinar, Common Issues Businesses Faceattorneys provideDiscrimination,unequalaccesstocapital,andDuring COVID-19, attorney Joseph Dunn providedin-depth guidance a lack of mentors in the community continuallyan overview of what small businesses should know createobstaclesforBlack-ownedstart-upsandto the webinar smallcompanies,evenbeyondthosefacedbyabout the bankruptcy process, joining speakers who covered legal issues related to commercial leasing,participants onany other emerging business. Additional burdensbusiness operations, and state tax credits.the many different relatedtothepandemic,suchasgovernment mandates and revenue losses due to shutdowns, putIt was gratifying to share specialized knowledgetypes of laws that even more strain on these enterprising companies. with those who otherwise may not be familiar withapply to businesses, Black entrepreneurs face unique challenges duebankruptcy or have the resources to go out and hire someone to advise them, Joe said. pandemic-related to systemic racism, such as lack of generational wealth and access to capital, and lack of mentorship.At another webinar, How to Grow Your Businessmandates, and COVID-19 reinforced these inequities, and Black- During COVID-19, several Mintz attorneys offeredtheir rights. owned businesses were disproportionately deniedguidance,includingattorneyFredHernandez, COVID-19financialassistancefromgovernmentwho discussed patent, trademark, and copyrightThe COVID-19 programs,saidJenniferNelson,chiefexecutiveissues affecting small businesses. Other panelistspandemic truly officeroftheSanDiegoVolunteerLawyerincluded former Mintz attorney Sebastian Bacon,had a devastating Program(SDVLP),anonprofitthatprovidesprowhodiscussedcontractsandentityformation, bonolegalservicestolow-incomeandotherand attorney Micha Danzig, who covered commoneffect on small underserved populations. employment law pitfalls that new companies face.business owners, To help Black business owners navigate challengesWe were honored to be able to provide guidanceparticularly those andpositionthemselvestothriveduringtheto members of minority communities that typically outbreak, SDVLP teamed up with the Central Sando not have a high percentage of business owners,of low-income, DiegoBlackChamberofCommercetoco-hostthereby, hopefully giving them a greater chance ofincluding many webinars on a range of business and legal issuessuccess, Micha said. entrepreneurs inNovember2020.FormerMintzattorneyPaulTo build on the success of the first webinars, the Brockland and attorney Monique Macek, with formerMintzteamisworkingwiththeChamberonaof color who are Mintz patent agent Julia Kottmeier, worked behindcomprehensiveIP-focusedwebinar.Alongwithjust getting their the scenes to help organize the events, which featuredcoveringpatents,licensing,andIPlitigation,the presentations by Mintz attorneys on a broad spectrumattorneys will offer an in-depth review of trademarksbusinesses offof legal issues.andtradedress.Participantswillalsohavethethe ground.Theprobonoeffortwasanoutgrowthoftheopportunity to meet with an attorney in a one-on-one San Diego Addressing Racial Inequality Group, abreakout session to discuss their specific questions. JENNIFER L. NELSON, Mintz San Diego Office initiative launched after aESQ.ItsimportanttomethatMintzbepartoftheChief Executive Officerpolice officer killed George Floyd in May 2020. Thecommunity beyond the standpoint of just servicingSan Diego Volunteer group focuses on pro bono community educationhigh-paying clients or big corporations, Fred said.Lawyer Program, Inc. andintellectualpropertyservicestominority- The community is also the people who live there, owned businesses, and engages in other pro bonoincluding people of color who are underrepresented. TRANSCENDING // Mintz Pro Bono Journal 35'