The IJ Clinic is delighted to work with Chicago entrepreneurs looking to transform their companies and communities. The attorneys and UChicago law students of the IJ Clinic are proud to guide and support our clients as they achieve amazing results. Our current client list features businesses across various industries.
Urban Juncture Foundation
Located in a neighborhood that was once Chicago’s black metropolis, Boxville is a marketplace of local entrepreneurs with innovative businesses operating and selling from repurposed shipping containers while being supported by the Bronzeville Incubator program. There are multiple regulatory and licensing-related challenges to running businesses out of unconventional spaces. We are working together to identify licensing paths that best suit this unique business model. The IJ Clinic is also consulting with Boxville on its agreements which are vital to its operations.
Contemporary Farmer, Inc.
Urban Regenerative Gardening
Davíd is the Founder and Farmer-In-Chief of Contemporary Farmer, Inc. CFI grows seedlings, manages home gardens, brews compost tea, presents workshops, and runs the educational garden at a number of schools ranging from grade school to high school. CFI also aims to spread awareness of regenerative agriculture practices to farmers, gardeners and home-growers of all ages, scales, and skill-levels. To support Davíd’s growing business, the IJ Clinic team is providing guidance on contract drafting and creating lasting relationships with educational and community partners.
Healthy Substance Kitchen, LLC
Patricia Gonzalez and Miguel Franco
Vegan Mexican Foods
Healthy Substance, founded by Patricia Gonzalez and Miguel Franco, is a revolutionary vegan Mexican food manufacturer and restaurant with a commitment to animal welfare, health, and sustainability. Born from a desire to create authentic vegan Mexican dishes for a family member in need, this culinary venture has garnered national recognition, including winning Fourth Place at the IJ Clinic’s 2022 South Side Pitch. In light of their plans to open more locations across the country and bring quality shelf-stable products to regions that don’t have access to nutritious vegan food, the IJ Clinic team is guiding Healthy Substance through the complexities of scaling their business, including leasing, manufacturing, labeling, and financing.
Hemp Heals Body Shop Inc.
Personal Care Products
Tiffany, a classic kitchen entrepreneur, started Hemp Heals Body Shop Inc. when she experimented with products to help ease her mother’s pain. She first tested and developed a salve and now offers a variety of products that have minimal or no THC. Even though the products are derived from hemp, the complicated legal status of CBD makes this a fascinating business and client. The IJ Clinic team is diving into questions about the regulation of these products and how Tiffany can build her brand and distribution online and on the ground.
Legacy Barber College Inc.
Juan Rivera and Elizabeth Nachtwey
In 2012, Juan Rivera was exonerated after 20 years of wrongful incarceration. He took every class he could while in prison, including all 1,500 hours of barber training that Illinois requires. When he got home, he decided to launch a barber college that would give others, including disadvantaged students and re-entering citizens, an affordable pathway to earn an honest, fulfilling living as barbers too. Helping others build a future would be Juan’s legacy, and he named it Legacy Barber College. With Elizabeth at the helm, Legacy has made barber students’ dreams a reality. The IJ Clinic law students working with Legacy are proud to be part of the vision. We are counseling Legacy through the many relationships and requirements that comprise this highly regulated business.
Southside Food Co-op, Inc. (SSFC)
Rev. Bernadine Harvin
Convenient Upscale Grocery Store in a Food Desert
The Southside Food Co-op, Inc. (SSFC) was formed in 2020 to provide a comprehensive, sustainable, community-based solution addressing food insecurity in an area designated as a food desert by the USDA. Underserved residents of Chicago’s South Side have had limited access to fresh, good quality, affordable foods, thus forcing many residents to travel to distant grocery stores in order to gain access to fresh food. To counter this systemic inequity, Rev. Bernadine is striving to make SSFC provide fresh, healthy, and nutritious food to Southside communities in need at the most affordable prices. The IJ Clinic is working alongside Rev. Bernadine to launch the SSFC store in a shared space with a worker cooperative, ChiFresh Kitchen.
The Beauty Genie
Multi-Cultural Haircare Vending
After two decades of experience in the tech space and providing services to the federal government, Ebony Karim decided to start her entrepreneurial journey by innovating hair care distribution with tech. Thus, she founded The Beauty Genie with her cofounder Quintella Rodgers, hair stylist and salon owner, and her identical twin, Swanzetta Lewis. The Beauty Genie team aims to make black hair care products accessible to people in areas where such products are not available through vending machines. The IJ Clinic team is working alongside Ebony to help launch the business with scaling, including advising on contracts with vendors, business partners, stakeholders, and suppliers.
The Brand The Artist The Mogul Limited Liability Company dba Jumping Jack Taxes
Business Consultancy Services
Stephanie is building businesses to create jobs and generational wealth for all. She is spearheading the first franchise of Jumping Jack Taxes in Chicago, which will be accessible to everyone in a beautiful space right in the heart of the Loop where the financial district and theater district intersect. She is also working toward businesses that promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion based on her extensive experience as a business coach and licensed cosmetologist. The IJ Clinic team has the opportunity to help Stephanie analyze franchise law, tax preparer licensing, and organizational structures for a growing business owned by a family.
The Record Track, LLC
Clifton Muhammad and Connie Lynn Anderson
Vinyl Records and Music Experiences
Cliff inherited The Record Track which sells new and used tapes, CDs, DVDs, VHS and vinyl LPs of music of all genres. Cliff and Connie won Second Place in 2022 South Side Pitch, took home the community favorite award and an award from the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business . They are committed to rebuilding their block on the South Side of Chicago by bringing live music experiences to the community with innovative interactive technology. They also are seeking opportunities to develop neighboring vacant properties adjacent to their business. The IJ Clinic is providing wrap around legal counsel in making these dreams come to life. We are advising them on business structures, leasing, employment and grant fulfillment issues among other things.
Yohance Joseph Lacour
Designer Leather Goods
Yohance is a leather goods and shoe designer based on the South Side of Chicago. He seeks to design a line of sneakers that blends the luxurious nature of world-renowned fashion houses with the inner-city street flair that characterized rap music’s humble beginnings. As YJL’s fanbase grows, the IJ Clinic counsels the brand on intellectual property protection, manufacturing, importing, and much more.