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Clinical Education at UT Law

Real Cases. Real Experience.

Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic

Additional Course Information

Students at Rancho Vista
Students meeting with a client at Rancho Vista.
Left to Right: Marina Garza, Arthur Rodrigues, Joyce Men and Matthew Badders

Course Description

Taught by Heather Way, Frances Leos Martinez and Eliza Platts-Mills

The Clinic is open to students who have completed their first two semesters.

6 credits (pass/fail) — offered Fall, Spring

Students must register for Law 397C and 397D, for a total of six credits. The Clinic is open to students who have completed their first two semesters.


ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CLINIC – 6 credits (application required)

Taught by: Heather K. Way, Frances Leos Martinez, Eliza Platts-Mills

The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to develop business law and problem solving skills while representing entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and community groups.

Students will learn how to represent their clients on a broad variety of transactional business law matters. Typical legal matters include:

  • assisting businesses with choice of entity decisions
  • forming for-profit and nonprofit entities
  • applying to the IRS for tax-exempt status
  • drafting and negotiating contracts
  • providing legal advice to nonprofit boards of directors and staff
  • drafting lending and real estate documents
  • assisting with intellectual property matters

The Clinic will also offer a special tract involving policy development. These students will focus on assisting community groups to develop local and statewide policy solutions to community development issues.

Clinic students learn how to represent their clients through bi-weekly classes, weekly team meetings with their clinic supervisor, and independent research and initiative. The Clinic classes emphasize the applicable substantive law; the larger social and theoretical context of the Clinic’s work; and the development of practical lawyering skills such as interviewing, counseling, negotiating, contract drafting, and public speaking.

The Clinic class meets on Monday afternoons from 2:15-4:15 pm (2 classes will run to 5 pm), and also on Thursday mornings from 9:10 to 10:00 am, for case rounds. There will be a mandatory orientation class on Friday, January 23rd, from 12:00 - 2:00 pm. The Clinic is a ignificant time commitment. Students are expected to devote an average of 17-20 hours a week to the Clinic, including class time. There are no prerequisites for this clinic, although a background in business law (such as business associations, real estate, or tax law) or policy work will be useful.

Enrollment is by application only. Students are encouraged to apply for the Clinic during early registration, as the Clinic fills up quickly. The deadline for applications and early registration is October 10 at 12 pm. Students may request to be placed on a waiting list if space is unavailable during registration. Grading is on a pass/fail basis for this six-credit hour clinic.

The Clinic is a partnership between the Law School and Texas Community Building with Attorney Resources (Texas C-BAR), a project of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

In addition to selecting the Clinic during Early Registration, students need to fill out an application. For more information, see http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/applications.php

For additional information, please contact Clinic Director Heather K. Way (hway@law.utexas.edu, 512-232-1210) or the Clinic Administrator, Fernando Castillo (fcastillo@law.utexas.edu, 512-232-2574).