With help from some University of Pennsylvania Law School students, Philadelphia food vendors are now organized formally as an association, bringing together vendors from across the city to support each other and to share resources.
Through the Law School’s Entrepreneurship Clinic, a team of students provided free legal assistance to vendors to form the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association.
The clinic, supervised by faculty members, provides practical law experience for second- and third-year students in handling legal issues for entrepreneurs and businesses that are just starting up.
Students Kimberly Wexler and Adam Katz, assisted the PMFA through the process by acting as a souding board for their ideas for the association. Wexler and Katz also helped the organization in the legal process of incorporating in Pennsylvania.
“It can be challenging to form an association if you do it yourself,” Wexler says. “These are all business owners who live very full lives, and they don’t have the time to think about how to draft bylaws.”
In March, Penn Law and the PMFA hosted a launch event with vendors offering popular food-truck fare. After the event, the group met at the Law School to discuss the mobile-food industry in Philadelphia. The event drew dozens of business owners, with 37 businesses signing up to become members that evening.