Clinics

Business Transactions Clinic

LW.10195 / LW.11302
Director and Adjunct Professor: Naveen Thomas
Associate Director: Jillian Schroeder-Fenlon
Open to 3L students only
Maximum of 12 students

Fall and Spring semesters
5 credits*
Prerequisite: Corporations
Recommended: Securities Regulation and Contract Drafting

Prospective Clients

If you would like to become a client of the Business Transactions Clinic, please read our brochure for further information and complete our intake form. The clinic’s supervising attorneys are admitted to practice law in New York and are competent to advise on matters governed by the Delaware General Corporation Law. Please contact Naveen Thomas or Jillian Schroeder-Fenlon with any questions.

Course Description

Client Work

The Business Transactions Clinic provides free business and transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and under-resourced entrepreneurs and small businesses that operate in areas of concern to the public.

Our projects involve:

  • business planning and entity formation;
  • commercial, corporate, financing, leasing and licensing transactions;
  • compliance with laws and regulations relating to securities, charitable solicitation, and tax-exempt status;
  • corporate governance, data privacy measures, and other internal policies; and
  • relationships with employees, service providers, founders, investors, and affiliates.

To complete these projects students work in teams of two, with the close supervision and guidance of licensed attorneys to do the following:

  • interview client representatives regarding their businesses and legal needs;
  • draft, review, and negotiate contracts and other legal documents;
  • perform legal research and due diligence;
  • counsel clients in writing, by telephone, and in person in response to their requests; and
  • consult with local counsel in other jurisdictions and with subject-matter specialists.

Through these representations, students develop valuable and widely transferable lawyering skills and substantive legal knowledge, while experiencing how business lawyers can serve the community by engaging in pro bono work.

For more information about the clinic’s work, please see our list of representative matters.

Seminar

The Clinic includes a weekly seminar, which focuses on the business lawyer’s multiple roles in assessing, planning, and facilitating deals, both within the clinic and beyond. Certain sessions cover substantive law relevant to the clinic’s work, including ethical rules and not-for-profit law. Other sessions promote transactional lawyering skills, including contract drafting and client communication. Some seminars feature practicing lawyers as guest speakers, whose specialties contribute to strategic decisions made by business leaders working on transactions.

In-class and homework exercises include negotiations, analysis of hypothetical transactions, writing and drafting exercises, case rounds, and presentations regarding client projects. Many of these exercises call for students to collaborate with their classmates, reflecting the importance of teamwork in legal practice.

Time Commitment

The seminar meets once a week for one hour and 50 minutes, and students must attend every seminar. In addition, students must attend weekly in-person meetings with supervising attorneys to discuss projects and must participate in separate calls and meetings with clients and supervising attorneys. Students spend an average of at least 10 hours per week on client work (excluding seminar activities).

Faculty and Staff

Jillian Schroeder-Fenlon is the clinic's Associate Director. Jillian was an associate in the real estate group at Ballard Spahr LLP and the structured finance group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP. At Ballard Spahr, her practice centered around a variety of financing and real estate transactions. At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, her practice focused on aircraft financing and prime brokerage transactions. She also taught legal writing as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She received a BSFS in International Economics from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Naveen Thomas is the clinic’s Director and an Adjunct Professor. In addition to directing the clinic, he instructs the discrete simulation course Contract Drafting. He is also the founder and principal of Thomas Law PLLC, a law firm that serves entrepreneurs and small businesses. Before joining NYU Law in 2014, Naveen was a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was the Executive Director of 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, where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Naveen received 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 Sciences Po.

Student Application Procedure

Students should submit the standard clinic application, resume and law school transcript using CAMS, the online application system. There is no interview, but the faculty and staff may contact you with questions regarding your application. For more information about the Clinic, please contact Naveen Thomas, Jillian Schroeder-Fenlon, or any of the prior students listed below.

Student Contacts

Fall 2018 Spring 2019
Judy Choi
Adam Cohen
Allie Cohen
Steven Iezzi
Alex Marcellesi
Ignatius Nam
Elizabeth Ngo
Richard Pan
Chelsea Renter
Evan Swager
Elliott Barron
Alex Djaha
Alex Ferrara
Dylan Giammalva
Ally Kaleita
Lauren Lundy
Stefan Rajiyah
Michael Youn
Ruoxi Zhang
 

* 5 credits include 3 clinical credits and 2 academic seminar credits.