Who We Are

The Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship is a trailblazer in social justice and education innovation. The Center is poised to spark a movement that transforms the way law creates positive impact in the world.

In partnership with Ashoka, a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship, the Center works to improve the legal systems that affect social entrepreneurs—those leaders who possess a powerful, new, system-changing idea to directly address an intractable social need and implement pattern-breaking solutions to serve the common good.  

The Center extends NYU Law’s leadership role in the field of law and social entrepreneurship through our research and in our teaching, leading the way in preparing a new generation of talented, committed, and globally oriented lawyers to apply their skills to change the world for the better. The Center’s work also reaches beyond our current students. We advance learning and foster the development of a robust community of legal practitioners, in government and private practice, working on issues of law and social entrepreneurship. The Center also maintains and extends the web-based Social Enterprise Tracker, which allows users to visualize how laws and regulations impacting social entrepreneurship have spread across the United States.

Social Entrepreneurship at NYU Law

NYU Law is training the next generation of lawyers who will work in and shape the emerging field of law and social entrepreneurship, thereby bridging its widely renowned programs in law and business and in public interest law.

NYU Law is expanding its curricular offerings to incorporate more themes of social entrepreneurship.  Students interested in the field can combine more traditional training in corporate, securities, and tax law with specialized courses, like Law & Business of Social Entrepreneurship and Financing Development, and reading groups focused on community development, microfinance, and impact investing, among others.

The Center also expands and deepens NYU Law’s current business clinical offerings that provide students with an opportunity to engage directly in the representation of social entrepreneurs and impact investors:

  • International Transactions Clinic (ITC): Launched by Professor Deborah Burand in the fall of 2015, the International Law Transactions Clinic offers students the opportunity to provide legal services to clients that are conducting cross-border transactions in emerging markets. The bulk of the ITC’s clients include social enterprises and impact investors. The clinic includes a fieldwork component that allows students to receive hands-on training from practicing attorneys. Another component of the clinic involves students meeting in a seminar twice a week for two hours. In these seminar meetings, the ITC concentrates on teaching students skills that are critically important to their professional development as they enter into practice areas that involve international transactions.
  • Business Law Transactions Clinic: The clinic, co-directed by Professor Stephanie Abramson and Professor Sean Delany, provides students with the opportunity to develop analytical, planning, editorial, and counseling skills in the context of client projects and reality-grounded class work.  Students learn to understand legal documents as business communications and to communicate complex legal concepts, factual matters, and tactical choices in simple, concise, organized, and understandable ways. The clinic includes a weekly two-hour seminar, which focuses on the business lawyer’s multiple roles in assessing, planning, and managing corporate transactions. 

In addition to our course offerings, NYU Law students have opportunities to engage in a range of social entrepreneurship activities. Among other initiatives, the Public Interest Law Center supports numerous student internship opportunities for summer work with social entrepreneurs and related organizations. The NYU Journal of Law & Business has dedicated several symposia—most recently its 2016 Annual Spring Symposium—to topics dealing with social entrepreneurship and impact investing. And the student-led Social Enterprise & Startup Law (SE-SL) Group manages extracurricular projects aimed at providing students with hands-on experience in working with social entrepreneurs. The Center also subsidizes the SE-SL’s annual alternative break trip, enabling students to connect with social entrepreneurs around the globe.

The Grunin Center for Law & Social Entrepreneurship is made possible through a generous endowment from NYU School of Law graduates Jay Grunin ’67 and Linda Kalmanowitz Grunin ’67, and the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation.

Jay and Linda have dedicated their philanthropic endeavors to investing in innovative projects that have measurable impacts creating meaningful, transformative change.

NYU Law School is grateful to the Grunins for their immense generosity and partnership.