Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic
Students in the Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic serve as outside counsel for social enterprises (nonprofit organizations and for-profit 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.
Student testimonials here.
Classroom & Fieldwork
Students meet in a classroom sitting twice a week. Once a week, the 2-hour seminar strengthens 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 each week is 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.
Students work an average of sixteen (16) hours per week as legal counsel to social enterprises (both nonprofit and for-profit businesses) on corporate and transactional matters. Students 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 writes case memoranda chronicling their legal representation.