Business and Community Law Clinic
The Business and Community Law Clinic (BCLC) is a six-credit clinic at Wayne State University Law School, and it offers free transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and under-resourced entrepreneurs and small businesses in and around Detroit. Under the supervision of experienced and licensed faculty, upper-level law student attorneys assume primary responsibility and work directly with organizational clients to address their transactional legal needs.
- Provide upper-level law students with the opportunity to learn transactional lawyering skills and practice through the supervised representation of organizational clients, while also exploring the intersection of corporate law, community development and social justice.
- Provide legal support to organizations that serve communities, many of which face structural barriers to accessing resources, and contribute to the entrepreneurial momentum in Detroit.
Our projects may 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 organizations;
- corporate governance and internal policies; and
- relationships with employees, service providers, founders, investors, and affiliates.
Our services do not include copyrights, trademark or patent applications, tax filings or advice, litigation, or dispute resolution.
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; and
- presenting our work to clients' governing boards.
Information for students interested in BCLC:
The BCLC is open to upper-level law students who: (1) have taken or are concurrently enrolled in Corporations and Professional Responsibility and (2) demonstrate an interest in transactional law and public service.
Student attorneys typically represent multiple clients; interact with clients' key representatives; and collaborate with other professionals to holistically address clients' needs.
Advanced BCLC is a two-credit course open to students who have successfully completed the BCLC, with the permission of BCLC faculty.
Students enrolled in the regular clinic meet in seminar class twice weekly to discuss relevant topics. The seminar class is designed to train students in the knowledge and skills that business lawyers need within the clinic and beyond. Advanced students attend all rounds and some seminar meetings.
The seminar meets twice a week for two-hour periods each. 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 attorney to discuss client work. They also participate in separate calls and meetings with clients throughout the semester. In addition to the four hours of seminar meetings each week, students should expect to spend an average of 21 hours per week on client work, preparing for seminar and on presentations and other clinic work. Regular and advanced BCLC students must complete at least 270 and 110 hours, respectively, of clinic-related work prior to the last scheduled day of that semester's classes.
Information for prospective clients
Community-based for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, and social enterprises contribute to thriving, sustainable, inclusive and equitable cities. Yet, many of these organizations in the Detroit area face historical and structural barriers that make it difficult for them to access resources. The BCLC seeks to strengthen such entities and the communities they serve by providing free transactional legal assistance.
If your organization needs free transactional legal assistance and is a community-based business, or is a nonprofit, for-profit or both that uses entrepreneurial and/or equitable solutions to solve social and environmental problems, consider reaching out to the BCLC.
Click on THIS LINK to apply for BCLC representation.
Donations to the BCLC are greatly appreciated, and will support increasing the availability of the BCLC's services to underserved communities as well as the BCLC's educational caliber. Please consider investing in the work of the clinics by making a gift. Visit giving.wayne.edu or contact Rob MacGregor, senior director of philanthropy, (313) 577-4141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to COVID-19, Wayne Law's clinics are temporarily unable to accommodate walk-ins. Please use the information below to reach the Business and Community Law Clinic.
Assistant Professor (Clinical) Maya Watson
Director, Business and Community Law Clinic