Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business

Business Law Transactions Clinic

The Business Law Transactions Clinic of New York University School of Law provides free business and transactional legal services to non-profit organizations as well as to small businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises that may not have access to the traditional legal market and that operate in areas of concern to the public. We focus on providing practical support to assist our clients with corporate and business issues. Our students (all third year students at the New York University School of Law) are selected from a pool of applicants and work under the close supervision of the Clinic’s experienced faculty to advise clients on a variety of transactional matters, including planning transactions and negotiating contracts, memoranda of understanding and other operating agreements (grant, service, independent contractor, fiscal sponsorship); reviewing and advising senior managers and boards about governance, compliance and reporting practices; preparing bylaws, conflict-of-interest and other board policies, committee charters, director orientation materials, board self-assessment tools and similar documents; and preparing templates and documents (contracts, forms, summaries and checklists) for management use.

Professors

Stephanie Abramson is a 1969 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was an editor of the Law Review, and is currently a member of its Board of Trustees. She is currently the Director of Law and Business Experiential Courses and an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law. She has an extensive and varied background in financing transactions, corporate law and transactional representation, as both outside counsel and as general counsel to several global companies. Ms. Abramson practiced corporate law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. She has been Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Young & Rubicam Inc., Chief Legal Officer and Chief Corporate Development Officer of Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. and most recently the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of DoubleClick, Inc. (acquired by Google Inc. in March 2008).

Sean Delany is the Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance for New York, the leading provider of pro bono business and transactional legal services to non-profits and community development organizations in New York City. Before joining Lawyers Alliance, Mr. Delany was the Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Charities Bureau in the office of the New York Attorney General. Mr. Delany is on the Board of Advisors of the ALI “Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations,” and a member of the Government Relations Committee of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York. In 2008, he lectured at law programs in Beijing and Shanghai, sponsored by the Yale Law School China Law Center.

Supervising Attorneys

Mary Bernard graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Minnesota School of Law in 1988, where she was an Articles Editor of the Minnesota Law Review. She has extensive experience counseling clients globally on a broad range of complex financing and M&A transactional matters, as well as boards of directors and senior management on corporate governance matters, disclosure issues, conflicts of interest, internal controls, risk management and compliance matters. She spent 16 years in private practice as a partner at King & Spalding in Atlanta and New York City and joined Credit Suisse in 2004 as Global General Counsel for Investment Banking. She retired in mid-2008.

Laurie McFadden is a sole practitioner attorney whose practice is focused on the representation of non-profit, tax-exempt and mission-driven organizations. She began her legal career at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, as an associate in the exempt organizations group. In 2000, she joined the Mann Legal Group and in 2004 Ms. McFadden began work as Assistant General Counsel for a term appointment at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 2004–2010 Ms. McFadden served in the General Counsel’s Office at Columbia University. Ms. McFadden received her BA from the University of Michigan; her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, U.K.; and her JD from New York University School of Law.

Naveen Thomas is a Research Scholar in the Mitchell Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Vellore Institute of Technology Law School in India and the founder of Thomas Law, a law firm that serves entrepreneurs in the technology sector among other clients. His research and published writing to date have focused on sovereign wealth funds, international investment law, and the availability of affordable legal services to small businesses in New York. Before joining NYU, he was a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where he codirected the Corporate Lab Transactional Clinic and instructed separate courses on contract drafting and professional skills. He had previously worked as an attorney at Shearman & Sterling in New York, London, and Paris, where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance, and at Barros & Errázuriz Abogados in Santiago, Chile. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Economics from NYU, a JD from Columbia University, and a Master of Global Business Law from Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Institut d'études politiques (Sciences Po).

 

Clinic Fellows and Supervising Attorneys

Emily Winston worked in private practice prior to joining the Clinic, representing primarily Latin American companies and US investment banks in a variety of capital markets and corporate finance transactions. She worked as an associate at Dewey & LeBoeuf and Paul Hastings. She has also worked as a lecturer of legal writing and lawyering skills a Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen, China.  She received her BA from the University of Maryland, College Park and her JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

Jeremy Steckel worked as an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy from 2008 until joining the Clinic during the Spring of 2014, focusing on capital markets, finance and general corporate matters. He regularly represented issuers and investment banks in international securities transactions, including numerous offerings issued or guaranteed by the Canadian or US governments. His practice also included counseling clients in connection with ongoing SEC-disclosure obligations. Mr. Steckel received his BA from Tulane University in 2000 and his JD from American University in 2008.

 

Objectives

We want to do great work for our clients, focusing on providing practical and thoughtful support to non-profit and business leaders. As professors, we aim to give students opportunities to develop analytical, planning, editorial and counseling skills in the context of both live client projects and reality-grounded class work. It is important that we allow our students to see how business lawyers can serve the community by advising social enterprises and engaging in pro bono work, board service, leadership and volunteer activities.

Requesting Legal Assistance

If your organization is seeking legal assistance with a business law matter, please complete and submit this Request for Legal Assistance form along with the documents listed on the last page of the form. Please contact Jeremy Steckel (Jeremy.Steckel@nyu.edu) or Emily Winston (Emily.Winston@nyu.edu) with any questions.