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School of Law

Nonprofit Organizations Clinic

The Nonprofit Organizations Clinic provides third-year law students the opportunity to represent charitable nonprofit organizations as Student Attorneys in various transactional law matters.

Through this Clinic and the legal representation being provided, students experience many facets of practice, including interviewing and counseling. Representation includes local, state, national and international clients including, Vertical Communities, Soda City Youth Slam, Potters Water Action Group, and Youthbridge Foundation.

Student Attorneys have provided legal assistance to hundreds of clients since the Clinic’s inception in 2009 in such matters as incorporation, preparation of by-laws, preparation and filing of IRC 501(c)(3) applications, contract review, drafting and negotiation, and real estate, intellectual property and land use issues. Students may attend board or board committee meetings, provide legal assistance to start up organizations or organizations that are merging, converting or spinning off new ventures and provide advice as to corporate structure and board governance.

The nature of the Clinic and the legal services provided allows for the stabilization of these organizations so that they are better able to carry out their missions and serve their communities.

 

Avery Douglas

Student Testimonial: Avery Douglas, Class of ’20

Having the opportunity to participate in the Nonprofit Organizations Clinic, during my 3L year, was easily the most rewarding experience I’ve had in law school. I enjoyed the uniqueness of this clinic because of its focus on transactional law and feeling like I was making a difference in someone’s life. This clinic offers students the opportunity to thoroughly learn nonprofit and tax-exempt law, which is a continuously growing sector. During my semester in the clinic, I was able to incorporate multiple non-profits, draft by-laws and conflict of interest policies, advise clients on various business structures and the tax consequences of each, and file 1023 forms with the Internal Revenue Service for a non-profit to become tax-exempt.  As a student attorney, I was able to engage one on one with clients whom I was representing and learn the importance of interviewing techniques, managing client expectations, increasing transparency by diligently communicating with the clients, time management, building trust, and coming up with a legal solution that would best achieve the client’s goals. I know I will continue to use the skills I gained from my clinical experience and advice gained from Professor Cherry throughout my legal career.


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