Wednesday, June 20, 2018

U. North Carolina School of Law receives $1.53 million gift to start new entrepreneurial legal clinic

From the (UNC) University Gazette:

New program will offer early-stage legal counsel for profit and nonprofit ventures


It takes drive, ambition, patience and persistence to become an entrepreneur. It also takes access to legal resources—a need that will be met with the new clinical entrepreneurship program at the School of Law.


The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust made a $1.53 million gift to help establish the program that will provide rigorous, hands-on training for the next generation of public-spirited lawyers while filling gaps in North Carolina’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. The North Carolina General Assembly has also appropriated $465,000 in recurring funds to support the program.


Douglas Zinn, executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, said the trust is excited to support the entrepreneurship program that will train law students while strengthening North Carolina communities and the state’s economy.


“We are thrilled and inspired by the investment in the education of Carolina students that the Kenan Trust and the people of North Carolina, through their representatives, are making,” said Martin H. Brinkley, dean of the law school and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor.


The gift from the Kenan Trust supports For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history. The gift also reinforces the School of Law’s commitment to train lawyer-leaders to address the issues and questions of today’s dynamic, ever-evolving industries, particularly in areas of growth and influence in North Carolina and beyond.


. . . .

The program is expected to kick off in the 2019–20 academic year and will serve business and social enterprise entrepreneurs on the campuses of Carolina and N.C. State University, in partnership with Kenan-Flagler Business School, N.C. State University’s Poole College of Management, as well as the innovation and entrepreneurship infrastructures on both campuses.


Funding will support three interwoven legal clinics at the School of Law: a for-profit ventures clinic, an intellectual property clinic and Carolina Law’s existing Community Development Law Clinic, which is a longstanding, highly successful nonprofit social entrepreneurship clinic. Each clinic, supervised by a full-time member of the law school faculty, will train eight to 10 law students per semester.


Students will counsel business founders on the advantages and disadvantages of various business entity structures, form appropriate entities, draft organizational documents, capture and license intellectual property assets and seek tax-exempt status for community-based nonprofit organizations.


“Clinical education geared toward organizational clients, and the business and social entrepreneurs who establish them, is important to large numbers of our students,” Brinkley said. “The new entrepreneurship program will help Carolina Law embrace its mission by fulfilling dual goals of teaching
and service.”


The School of Law also intends to identify one or more economic incubators in underserved parts of North Carolina that the entrepreneurship program can support.

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