A new program unveiled by Governor Rick Snyder will offer free legal advice to about 60 start-up companies a year. MiSpringboard is a pro bono program spearheaded by Varnum Attorneys at Law. Larry Murphy is the managing partner of the law firm. He says one of the benefits of offering free services to start-up companies is the prospect of future paying clients.
"That is one of the benefits that could arise out of this program," he says. "The initial purpose is to assist taking these organizations to a business reality. Some of them may very well turn out to be clients in the future."
Varnum has offices in Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Novi.
"It's not picking them by industry to say that's the focal point but really looking at their background to say their experience base-quite often the first time someone comes they may not qualify," he says. "But after they come back again, after they've given some thought, they've done some more homework, they very well get prepared. Because part of it is that cycle of saying you just show up with an idea. Well, you're not ready yet."
Snyder says he would be interested in working on similar pro bono programs with other law offices throughout the state.