Social Enterprise and Economic Empowerment Clinic

LW.12918 / LW.12919
Professor Alina Ball
Open to 2L and 3L students
Maximum of 8 students
Fall semester
6 credits*
Co-requisites: Corporations
Recommended: Negotiating Corporate Transactions, Contract Drafting

Course Description

The Social Enterprise Clinic is a one-semester transactional law clinic that requires students critically examine issues of racial, economic, and social justice to achieve their entity client goals. Students in this clinic will provide transactional representation to social enterprises—for-profit and nonprofit companies that use market-based strategies to address social and environmental issues. The clinic will appeal to students who are interested in exploring the potential power and limitations of market-based methods and thinking critically about the relationships between law, business, and economic inclusion.


Students in the Social Enterprise Clinic serve as outside counsel for social enterprise businesses (both for-profit and nonprofit organizations) that have a social or environmental mission as a core aspect of their business. Students advise their clients on a variety of corporate governance, regulatory compliance, contract drafting and analysis, corporate structure, and entity formation 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 collaboratively with their clients to help them minimize risks and avoid pitfalls as they achieve their social impact and business goals.


As a required part of the clinic, students will meet twice weekly in a classroom seminar to discuss their client representations as well as a range of substantive legal disciplines underlying the core competences of transactional lawyers. Throughout the semester, 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. We will prioritize studying new business entity state statutes aimed at supporting the social enterprise sector such as the New York Benefit Corporation, the Delaware Public Benefit Corporation, the Delaware Public Benefit Limited Liability Company, and the California Social Purpose Corporation.

Application Procedure

Students interested in applying for the clinic should submit the standard application, resume, and transcript online through CAMS. If you have questions regarding the application procedure, please contact Susan Hodges. If you have questions regarding the content or scope of the Social Enterprise Clinic, please contact Professor Alina Ball.


* 6 credits include 3 clinical credits and 3 academic seminar credits.