The Community Development Clinic, founded in 2016, is a legal resource for grassroots groups of long-time residents in low-income neighborhoods, as well as new immigrants, that don't have access to pro bono legal services but need representation in forming a new not-for-profit, or small business, or assistance advocating for economic development in a particular neighborhood.
The Clinic assists groups with:
- popular education programs on legal topics such as business entity formation, worker cooperatives, affordable housing preservation and development, community benefits agreements, and other topics related to neighborhood-based economic development strategies;
- legal research and advocacy on economic development in low-income neighborhoods, and access to justice issues;
- and direct legal services representing not-for-profits, small businesses, and community groups on a variety of transactional matters, including entity formation, governance, contracts, leasing, and loan/related financial closings.
Students, under the supervision of a professor or practicing attorney, learn key corporate law and deal closing skills, including client counseling and interviewing, negotiation, drafting, advocacy, and public speaking. Students learn the importance of pro bono and professional responsibility by servicing vulnerable populations such as domestic violence victims, and the formerly incarcerated.
The Community Development Clinic was made possible by a significant donation by Edward P. Swyer and The Swyer Family Foundation.
Professor Edward W. De Barbieri
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