LW.10195 / LW.11302
|Fall and Spring semesters
Recommended: Securities Regulation and Contract Drafting
To learn whether and how the Business Transactions Clinic can represent you, please read about our clients and services in the “Client Work” section below. In addition, to be eligible for our services, you or your business must be located in New York State or your legal needs must relate to New York law.
If you would like to become a client of the Business Transactions Clinic, please contact Naveen Thomas or Jillian Schroeder-Fenlon with details regarding your organization and legal needs. If the clinic can assist you, Naveen or Jillian will ask you to complete our intake form before receiving services. Please do not complete this form until asked to do so.
Students in the Business Transactions Clinic learn
- practical lawyering skills and substantive legal knowledge that promote success as lawyers in any area of transactional practice;
- how to help clients solve problems, make decisions, and accomplish their goals;
- the values in legal practice of efficiency, concision, clarity, reliability, empathy, professionalism, and teamwork; and
- how to serve the community through pro bono representation of organizational clients in transactional matters.
The 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 and internal policies; and
- relationships with employees, service providers, founders, investors, and affiliates.
Our services do not include trademark or patent applications, tax filings or advice, litigation, or dispute resolution.
To complete our projects, students work in teams of two, with the close supervision and guidance of licensed attorneys. Our activities include:
- interviewing client representatives regarding their businesses and legal needs;
- drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts and other legal documents;
- performing legal research and due diligence;
- counseling clients orally and in writing;
- presenting our work to clients’ governing boards; and
- consulting with local counsel in other jurisdictions and with subject-matter specialists.
For more information about the clinic’s work, please see our list of representative matters.
The clinic includes a weekly seminar, which trains students in the knowledge and skills that business lawyers need, both within the clinic and beyond. Certain sessions cover substantive law relevant to the clinic’s work, including ethical rules and the legal aspects of different business organizations. Other sessions promote transactional lawyering skills, such as contract drafting and negotiation and client counseling. Some seminars feature practicing lawyers as guests, who discuss how specialized areas of law intersect with more general corporate practice.
In-class exercises include analysis of hypothetical transactions, writing and drafting exercises, and case rounds, in which students discuss their client work with their classmates. Many of these exercises call for students to collaborate with their classmates, reflecting the importance of teamwork in legal practice.
The seminar meets once a week for two hours. Students must attend every seminar. Before each class, they must read all assigned materials and occasionally prepare for presentations and other activities in collaboration with classmates.
In addition, students attend weekly one-hour team meetings with their partners and supervising attorneys to discuss client work. They also participate in separate calls and meetings with clients throughout the semester. We accommodate students’ course schedules and other responsibilities when arranging these activities. As in any clinic at the Law School, students should expect to spend an average of 10 to 20 hours per week on client work.
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 on 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 a discrete simulation course named 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 associate 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 students with questions regarding their applications. For more information about the Clinic, please contact Naveen Thomas, Jillian Schroeder-Fenlon, or any of the prior students listed below.
|Spring 2021||Fall 2021|
* Consult the LLM Clinic Requirements at A Glance page to see if the clinic is available to LLMs in the current year.
** 5 credits include 3 clinical credits and 2 academic seminar credits.