Clinic Director Heather Way, clinic client, and clinic student.

Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic

The ECDC provides transactional business law representation and policy guidance to entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and community groups.  Our clients are strengthening their communities through job creation, the production and preservation of affordable housing, asset building strategies for low-income individuals, and the provision of innovative and valuable goods and services for their communities.

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Cases and Projects

Asociación de Residentes de North Lamar (ARNL)

Asociación de Residentes de North Lamar (ARNL), a residents’ association in a mobile home park community in North Austin, organized themselves in 2015 to prevent property neglect, significant rent increases, and evictions from the property owners, who were know nationwide for promoting predatory practices by mobile home park owners.

Clinic students touring the North Lamar Mobile Home Park with members of the newly formed Asociación de Residentes North Lamar Corporation.

In 2020, during the pandemic, ARNL stabilized their community by forming a resident-run cooperative nonprofit and purchasing the mobile home park. Working collaboratively with community organizations and city staff, Clinic students represented ARNL in the real estate and lending work necessary for the purchase of the mobile home park and helped them formalize as a resident-owned cooperative nonprofit corporation through forming a nonprofit corporation, drafting bylaws, facilitating strong corporate governance. and issue spotting on matters of property management.

Multicultural Refugee Coalition

Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC) is an Austin nonprofit working to create opportunities for refugees through both training and employment via three social enterprises: Open Arms (which is IKEA’s first US-based social enterprise partner), Shared Voices, and New Leaf.

ECDC students assisted MRC with preparing customer contracts, revising corporate documents, assisting with tax law compliancy, and intellectual property.

November November Films

November November Films is a start-up film production company run by local filmmaker Ashlee Harris.

The ECDC assisted Ashlee in forming a limited liability company, preparing contracts, music licensing, and other legal needs related to filming the company’s first web series.

It has been such an incredible experience working with the Clinic. They’ve helped me launch my LLC and prepared legal documentation to protect me and my business. Not only do they help through each step of the process, but they also explain in great detail so that you can make the best decisions for you. It’s been such a big impact for me personally and professionally.

—Ashlee Harris, founder of November November Films

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