Commercial Finance associate Erica Yang was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times for partnering with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services to establish the Lawyers Helping Our Community (LHOC) Clinic during the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual legal clinic is helping to address the economic and health impacts of COVID-19 on Asian-American communities, specifically by providing free legal services to non-English speaking members of Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood.
Erica co-founded the clinic in June with Eric Zhi, a real estate associate at Kirkland and Ellis, to help the Chinatown business community with civil legal issues, such as evictions and insurance claims. Her idea to establish the clinic began during the coronavirus pandemic when she learned that many pro-bono legal clinics had to stop in-person appointments and Chinatown businesses were struggling to stay in business.
As an immigrant herself, Erica was also inspired to start the clinic because she remembered what it felt like to be a teenager in a new country. "The feeling of vulnerability and anxiety and what it feels like to be an outsider. I still remember that feeling when I was in high school," Erica said.
The LHOC clinic is comprised of around 60 volunteer attorneys and law students who speak multiple languages, including Korean, Cantonese and Mandarin, and has since served around 30 clients.
Chicago Chinatown's Chamber of Commerce is also planning to launch an app with LHOC that will provide consumers with coupons to support Chinatown businesses and bring customers to the neighborhood. Volunteer attorneys and law students from LHOC have been helping with establishing the legal structures, addressing privacy issues with the app and figuring out how to enroll businesses.
Read, "Attorneys create free, virtual clinic to give immigrant Asian business owners legal help," in its entirety.