Students in the Community Development Law Clinic learn transactional and business lawyering skills while representing non-profit organizations and small, urban entrepreneurs. The clinic often works in concert with community-based business centers and other professionals to provide clients with comprehensive professional consulting services.
Clinic students provide clients with a wide range of direct legal services to help them establish and operate their businesses and programs. Students’ case work might involve such things as advising clients on business structure; preparing articles of incorporation, bylaws, partnership agreements, and business contracts; advising clients regarding basic tax law, zoning, licensing requirements, intellectual property, and other legal issues; researching trademarks and preparing trademark applications; preparing applications for tax exempt status and representing the client in the application process with the Internal Revenue Service; and mediating business disputes. Clinic students also help prepare and conduct client workshops on critical legal issues.
Through their work in the clinic, students will develop skills necessary for the practice of business and transactional law. The casework presents opportunities to work on interviewing, counseling, negotiation, mediation, problem solving, research, and legal writing and drafting skills. In addition, students learn good practice procedures and organizational skills, become familiar with the rules of conduct that govern lawyers, and learn to work with other professionals, such as accountants, business consultants and project managers.
Clinic students work in close collaboration with other students and the clinic’s faculty. The clinic faculty provides instruction to students in seminar classes and individualized tutorials. Students, working in teams or individually, meet routinely with supervisors for in-depth and comprehensive planning and review of their casework. The seminar explores substantive law and skills development and also functions as a staff meeting to provide students with an opportunity to practice presentations, brainstorm problems, and develop case strategies.
Contacting the Community Development Law Clinic
Community Development Law Clinic
UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
4340 Connecticut Avenue NW, Room 316
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 274-5122
Fax: (202) 274-5569
Clinic Director: Professor Jerome Hughes