Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic Overview
The Small Business and Community Economic Development Clinic provides legal assistance to small businesses, social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and artists. Under faculty supervision, students interview, advise, counsel and represent entrepreneurs and businesses and assist nonprofit organizations committed to improving the welfare of individuals and communities. Specific cases may involve drafting articles of incorporation, bylaws, articles of organization, operating agreements, or partnership agreements; researching local licensing requirements and zoning laws; reviewing and drafting contracts and leases; preparing applications for federal tax exemption; advising and counseling business founders and corporate boards; and advising clients on basic intellectual property issues, tax matters, and related legal issues.
Through the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Pilot program students may apply for certification to file trademark applications while enrolled in the clinic. Through its classwork and casework, students examine substantive business law, social entrepreneurship and community economic development, the role of small business in providing economic opportunity for under-capitalized and under-represented entrepreneurs, and develop transactional legal skills. Students may also participate in law and policy action research projects.
The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics were founded in 1971, and were dedicated in 1991 to acknowledge the generous support of Jacob Burns (LL.B. '24, LL.D. '70). Burns was renowned for his philanthropy, through which he "contributed significantly to the expanding boundaries of knowledge," and left an enduring legacy that improves the lives of many today.