Clinic students present a legal work shop providing entity choice to entrepreneurs at The Hive 2.0 in Anacostia.Clinic students present a legal work shop providing entity choice to entrepreneurs
at The Hive 2.0 in Anacostia.

About the Clinic

The Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center offers free corporate and transactional legal services to social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and select small businesses in Washington, D.C. Through the Clinic, law students learn to translate theory into practice by engaging in the supervised practice of law for educational credit. The Clinic's goals are consistent with Georgetown University's long tradition of public service. The Clinic's goals are:

  • Teach law students the materials, expectations, strategies, methods, and lexicon of transactional lawyering, as well as an appreciation for how transactional law can be used in the public interest.
  • Represent D.C.-based social enterprises and nonprofit organizations in corporate and transactional legal matters.
  • Facilitate the growth of social enterprise in the D.C. area.

What is Social Enterprise?

A "Social Enterprise" offers:

  • Internal Positive Impact in the way the business or organization operates, treats employees, engages in production, selects materials and other factors of production.
  • External Positive Impact in what the business or organization contributes to the environment, the communities in which it operates, and/or humanity. 
  • Legal & Ethical Accountability in the business or organization's incorporation documents, mission statements, stated values, and governance policies and practices.

Social Enterprises generally:

  • Apply entrepreneurial approaches to addressing social, environmental, and human justice issues.
  • Have a primary purpose beyond making money for individual owners and investors. 
  • Set as a primary goal improvement of the environment, humanity, and/or community.

For examples of social enterprise, read these legal case studies developed by Georgetown Law students on behalf of Ashoka, a global nonprofit organization that supports social entrepreneurs.

For Students

The Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic gives law students the opportunity to learn the theory, skills, and practice methods of transactional lawyering through reflective, supervised practice for organizational clients. Students learn how transactional law can be used in the public interest.

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For Potential Clients

The Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic serves social enterprises (see above definition) that are unrepresented given the high cost of legal services; nonprofit organizations and foundations working in a wide range of fields (including health, social services, education, youth development, technology, food safety and security, sustainable agriculture, and civil rights); and select small business.

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