2015 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Alexa Marin

Alexa Marin

City, State: Boston, Massachusetts
Issue area: Community Economic Development/Microfinance and Related Transactional Legal Projects
Sponsors: Latham & Watkins LLP

The Project

Alexa will provide personalized pro bono legal advice in transactional matters to low-income entrepreneurs and developing small businesses in East Boston, Massachusetts.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
In 2014 over 160 “doing business as” certificates were filed in the neighborhood of East Boston, Massachusetts. This represents significant growth taking place in this often overlooked urban community. In recent years, East Boston’s location has drawn developers to the area, allowing young professionals and small families to set up home in a community that is ready for progress. Local residents are eager to meet the needs of this incoming population, which has prompted entrepreneurs to set up small businesses within the community. With a little over half of the neighborhood population identifying as minority, East Boston has become a draw for immigrant and low-income entrepreneurs. However, executing a business requires substantial time, energy, and financing. Legal assistance can often streamline the process, but many cannot afford basic legal assistance to better understand entity formation, contracts, and leases. While a number of community partners are working to educate these aspiring entrepreneurs on the business side, there is a lack of pro bono legal assistance within the community from which these individuals can receive assistance for their legal transactional needs. By providing the right support, I aim to achieve a rise in sustainable small business development in this community.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Alexa is the right person for the project because:
• As a Hispanic immigrant, she has the ability to personally relate to many East Boston residents
• She has over a decade of experience working and helping to manage a minority-owned small business
• She is uniquely suited to tackle business and legal issues having earned Master’s degrees in both business and law
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship: 
In the first six months, Alexa will:
• Reach out and establish working relationships with local community partners in East Boston
• Develop a seminar series to educate entrepreneurs on various legal transactions they will face as a small business owner
• Establish a location to hold weekly office hours to meet local business owners and advise on basic transactional issues

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