Community & Economic Development
The CED Clinic provides transactional legal services to community-based organizational clients – such as nonprofit organizations, worker-owned cooperatives, and tenant associations – that are creating viable neighborhood institutions and organizing for social and economic justice. The Clinic works with both start-ups and more established organizations, and provides strategic legal services to tenant associations in support of their ongoing organizing campaigns.
Students who complete the CED or Not-for-Profit Lawyering Seminar and students who have a demonstrated interest in community organizing will be given a strong preference for enrollment in the CED Clinic, which is a one semester, 12-credit clinic. Building on their lawyering seminar work, Clinic students will continue to develop lawyering skills that are needed to do transactional work on behalf of community based organizations and, more broadly, legal work in support of community-based organizing campaigns.
Depending on client needs, student work includes assisting start-up organizations with incorporation and/or obtaining tax-exempt status, as well as more complex CED projects such as negotiating and drafting contracts, and counseling organizational clients on employment and governance issues. The Clinic will also provide legal support to tenant associations seeking repairs and safe, affordable housing. Classroom work focuses on CED theory and practice, community lawyering in furtherance of social justice, legal ethics, and various doctrinal laws related to not-for-profits and their legal needs. Classroom work is also tailored to the Clinic projects to which students are assigned. Clients of the Clinic have included Acacia Network, the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, Make the Road New York, Green Worker Cooperatives, and VOCAL.