Student Eligibility and Requirements

What is it?

The Community Economic Development Clinic (CED Clinic) is a component of the Small Business Law Center (SBLC), which provides legal assistance and representation to entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits that do not have the means to hire an attorney to advise them. Students who participate in the SBLC will have the opportunity to assist clients by forming entities, drafting, negotiating and reviewing contracts, and helping clients through the regulatory process. Students will be guided during representation by a licensed California attorney but students will have primary responsibility for their cases.

 

Students enrolled in the CED Clinic are required to participate in weekly class meetings that focus on the lawyering skills necessary to effectively represent clients. In addition to discussing client interviewing and counseling techniques, students will also focus on substantive areas of law that are relevant to students’ cases, including issues of professional responsibility. The weekly class meetings are mandatory.

 

How does this fit into my academic program?

Participation in the CED Clinic satisfies the Professional Skills graduation requirement and is a graded course not subject to the TJSL grading curve. Students who participate in the spring/fall are eligible for 3 or 4 units of live client work or a minimum of 2 units in the summer. Each unit is equivalent to 5 hours per week (10 hours per week for summer), totaling 15 or 20 hours per week for client representation in the spring/fall, or 20 hours per week in the summer. Although remote work is permitted, work within the clinic space is encouraged and students are expected to be available to meet with clients during their designated clinic hours. The mandatory clinical seminar counts for an additional 2 units in the spring or 1 unit in the summer.

 

What is required to participate?

To participate in the CED Clinic, students must successfully complete Professional Responsibility and Business Associations. Students must also be eligible to become a California certified law student. To become a California certified law student, students must have completed their first year of law school, be in good standing and have successfully completed or be currently enrolled in Civil Procedure I and Evidence. Once admitted into the CED Clinic, students will apply to become a California certified law student. To learn more about becoming a California certified law student, please visit the California bar website.

 

How do I apply?

To be admitted into the clinic, you must send a formal letter indicating your interest in working with the CED Clinic, a resume, and an unofficial transcript to bnieman@tjsl.edu. The letter should be addressed to the supervising attorney and must include a date and signature. The letter should communicate successful completion or concurrent enrollment of the required pre-requisite classes and also describe past experiences with small businesses or future plans to work in a transactional law practice setting.

 

There are several considerations for selection. One of the considerations is prior work experience in a law office, which is important to the CED Clinic because it operates like a law firm. Students with law office experience have the advantage of diving right into matters without having to adapt to a law firm environment. Other considerations include no major commitments to extracurricular organizations such as Law Review, Mock Trial, Moot Court, ADR or other competitions. Preference may be given to 3Ls who have completed pre-requisites and who will not have another opportunity to enroll in the clinic.

 

Applications will be accepted as follows:

 

Spring Semester Applications accepted from October 18 to November 1
Summer Session Applications accepted from March 18 to April 1

Fall Semester

Applications accepted from April 1 to April 15

 

Please register for any other courses you are interested in taking, as you are not guaranteed a slot in the clinic once you apply. If you are accepted, you can then add/drop units as needed. Do not waitlist yourself for the class. If there is more student interest than spaces available, the CED Clinic may conduct interviews. Final decisions about applications will be made two weeks after the application deadline.

 

For more information about the CED Clinic, please visit: http://www.tjsl.edu/clinics/sblc.

 

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