The Community Law & Business Clinic provides students with an opportunity to work in a transactional and community development practice. Operating from an office in downtown Winston Salem, the Community Law & Business Clinic provides a full range of legal services to entrepreneurs engaged in small business development and social enterprise. The CL&BC’s clients are directly involved in creating economic opportunity for local communities.
Clients are drawn from throughout North Carolina, although most clients are within a close proximity to Wake Forest University. Since opening in January 2009, the CL&BC has advised nearly 400 clients on matters including:
- Entity Selection
- Nonprofit formation and tax compliance
- Employment Law
- Contract Formation
- Regulatory Compliance (USDA, SEC and state agencies)
- Low Income Housing Development
Students are provided with an opportunity to work directly with clients as they conceive, form and launch new enterprises.
Central to the CL&BC is the value of community development. This clinic aims to improve the economic conditions within the community. Because of this, the practice within CL&BC is dynamic, slightly changing over time to address emerging community needs. While the CL&BC does not regularly take litigation clients, in August 2010 the office began representing individual homeowners in defending foreclosure proceedings. These proceedings allow students an opportunity to evaluate a real estate transaction while assisting a family to stay in their home.
Students may expect a dynamic experience that involves direct client contact and the opportunity to practice the fundamental skills of practicing law. Students will leave the experience having begun to develop the core competencies that will transfer directly to the practice after law school.
The Community Law & Business Clinic is directed by Prof. Steven Virgil, whose practice is focused on community economic development representing individuals, nonprofits and community groups in efforts to create economic opportunity for low-income communities. Prof. Virgil may be reached at 336-631-1953.