School of Law small business program honored

Graphic by Ashlee Fields

By Spencer DeVeau, News Writer

Gary Spring will receive the inaugural 2015 Legal Services Champion Award from the Cleveland District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Spring is the director of The University of Akron School of Law’s Clinic for Small Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED).
“We are very pleased to receive this prestigious award,” Spring said in The Digest news release. “It is a reflection of the SEED Clinic’s and Akron Law’s significant outreach to our community. We could not have received this recognition without the collaboration of many partners and the hard work of our students.”
As part of National Small Business Week, the award will be presented on Thursday, May 7 at 3 p.m. in the School of Law Atrium.
In the 1960s, UA’s School of Law offered free legal services for those in need; SEED developed as a product of the original clinic, now offering legal assistance at a low cost to many budding Northeast Ohio businesses. Some of the services the SEED Clinic provides include business planning, operating agreements, employment law and nonprofit assistance.
SEED also gives law students the opportunity to benefit from a hands-on legal experience.
The award is presented by the U.S. Small Business Association, an independent agency of the federal government who counsels, aids and protects the interests of small businesses within the U.S.
“The award goes to the individual that is supported by the SEED Clinic, and the SEED Clinic is an example of one of the reasons why [Gary Spring] won the award,” said Gilbert Goldberg, district director of the Cleveland Office of the SBA.
Passion played a large part in determining the winner; according to Goldberg, Spring has great passion for what he does, often going outside of the SEED Clinic to help professionals and small businesses, all while exceeding the expectations of what is normally done.
“[Spring] has made it his life’s work, basically, to help small businesses,” Goldberg said.
The Cleveland district office will consider giving out the award again next year, but they believe it will be difficult to find somebody with the same level of involvement as Gary Spring.
“What he does is not driven by dollars and cents, it’s driven by his passion,” Goldberg said. “It’s unique to find somebody like this.”

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