Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - 29

"At any point you can get that sort of legal running start before going into a law firm and paying $350 or $400 an hour, which is really nice," says Goldberg, who was encouraged to go to the clinic by Maxwell after a chance meeting at a D.C. government small business workshop. "That clinic experience gave us an understanding of some of the questions we should be asking when it came time to seek counsel and pay for it." Those basic questions came around how to handle non-compete clauses, licensing, and the kinds of permits the incubator would need to have a commercial kitchen for a number of different and entirely distinct businesses. at the time, and Goldberg needed advice on how best to protect Mess Hall and its potential members. "You don't want to get on the wrong side of a lawsuit," he says. "You don't want to inadvertently make a mistake in employment law. You certainly don't want to make mistakes with your contracts or in signing a lease. Anytime you can glean a little bit of insight from the clinic or the seminars or just talking to Darryl, it's really valuable." "These are tricky issues," Goldberg says. "When you're a small business owner, you are accounts receivable and accounts payable, sales, operations, and marketing. You have to know all that and be a lawyer, too. And that's the thing that could potentially cost you the most money if you make a mistake." Rodela from DC Brau took that to heart. She took advantage of the Pro Bono Center's nonprofit offerings, too, in her role as executive director of the District of Columbia Brewers' Guild. She attended the HR training for nonprofits to learn what was necessary for the Guild to hire staff. "It was nice to attend both and get a better understanding," she says. "The Guild is a 501(c)6 and there are just enough differences in the law, and most of us need the extra help." With a long history in the restaurant and catering business, Goldberg was interested in creating a collaborative community that allowed entrepreneurs to keep the costs down by sharing space and expertise. The concept of a culinary incubator was new in D.C. For startup restaurants, craft food makers, and breweries in the District, the opportunity to sit down with an attorney is rare, especially when budgets are pinched and a trip to an attorney could put a major roadblock in the cash flow. With so much at stake, the Pro Bono Center has become a necessary resource that entrepreneurs can depend on to grow their businesses and create jobs. "Sometimes we just need a hand and it can make all the difference," Goldberg says. Sarah Kellogg is a regular contributor to Washington Lawyer. "At any point you can get that sort of legal running start before going into a law firm and paying $350 or $400 an hour, which is really nice. "That clinic experience gave us an understanding of some of the questions we should be asking when it came time to seek counsel and pay for it." Al Goldberg, founder of the membership-based culinary incubator Mess Hall Photo: Patrice Gilbert Photography * WASHINGTON LAWYER * SEPTEMBER 2016 29 http://www.dcbar.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - September 2016

Contents
Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - 1
Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - Contents
Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - 3
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Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - Cover4
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