Students in the Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic serve as outside counsel for social enterprises, nonprofit organizations and small businesses on corporate and transactional matters. Students advise their clients on a variety of corporate governance, compliance, transactional, and operational matters. Through their client work, students gain experience as business attorneys and develop transactional lawyering skills such as strategic planning, project management, client interviewing and counseling, legal research and analysis, contract drafting, and cross-cultural competencies. Students work closely with their clients to understand their organizational model, industry, and social impact goals to then provide counsel customized to the client’s particular corporate needs. Students are encouraged to grapple with and develop their own perspectives about how lawyers can best participate in the growing social enterprise sector and how transactional law can advance issues of economic and social justice.
The Clinic is taught by Professor Alina Ball. It is not possible to concurrently enroll in the same semester in both this course and another live-client clinic, legal or judicial externship, or the Startup Legal Garage.
Students will meet in a classroom sitting twice a week. The first classroom session will be a 2-hour seminar to strengthen students’ knowledge of relevant areas of law and critically examine the theoretical themes of the course. Topics addressed include, but are not limited to, social enterprise statutes, corporate and business entities, transaction planning, contract drafting, the historical context of economic justice movements in the Bay Area, and the role of lawyers in regional economic development. The second classroom session will be a shorter class primarily dedicated to case rounds, where student teams lead discussions on salient issues raised in their client representation. This opportunity allows students to further develop areas of substantive expertise, solicit timely feedback from their colleagues, and engage in collaborative problem-solving. Time spent in the second class meeting will count towards the fieldwork component of the course.
Students will work an average of sixteen (16) hours per week as legal counsel to social enterprises, nonprofit organizations and small businesses on corporate and transactional matters. Students will work in pairs, communicate regularly with clients, develop and implement case strategies, and lead weekly case meetings with Professor Ball. Fieldwork activities typically include client interviewing, attending client meetings, conducting legal research, providing client counseling, and drafting corporate documents and agreements. Each student team will write case memorandum chronicling their legal representation.
3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th semester students.
3 unit non-GPA class and 4 unit fieldwork component, graded pass-fail, must be taken concurrently. Fieldwork units count against the 20 unit maximum credit for non-classroom work.
Students need to have taken or plan to be concurrently enrolled in 1) Business Associations and 2) another course that demonstrates the student’s interest in transactional law and/or entity representation. Courses that satisfy the second requirement include, but are not limited to: Advanced Business Law Seminar; Commercial Contract Writing; Employment Discrimination; Environmental Law; Federal Income Taxation of Corporations & Partnerships; International Business Transactions; Mergers & Acquisitions; Native American Law (Federal Indian Law); Non-Profit Organizations; Real Estate Transactions; Secured Transactions; Venture Capital & Startup Tech.
The Clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. Please send questions to Professor Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org.