A STEP FORWARD
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in the summer of 2020, leaders of the Mecklenburg County Bar and local law firm leaders began an independent process of identifying ways to advance racial justice and equity in the Charlotte area. The Carolinas Social Impact Initiative formed, and the group determined that providing free legal services to low-income entrepreneurs and small businesses was essential to advancing economic mobility and an important step toward racial equity.
In early 2021, a few of the law firms created a working team to develop the program now known as CLIMB. The goal was a sustainable program that engages volunteer lawyers to make an impact in Charlotte and its surrounding communities. In the coming months, a broad range of lawyers and legal employers are expected to join this initiative, motivated to serve those in our community who cannot afford access to the legal system on their own.
By providing access to legal services at no cost, CLIMB seeks to (1) assist clients in building and sustaining thriving businesses, (2) support commercial activity in historically under-resourced communities in the Charlotte area, and (3) foster economic mobility and opportunity, which are essential components to racial and social justice.