FAQs for prospective students

  1. Who are the clients of the ECDC?

    The ECDC provides students with a unique opportunity to develop business law and problem-solving skills while representing entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. See our clinic website for examples of prior clients.

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  2. What types of matters do ECDC students work on for their clients?

    Through hands-on interactions, ECDC students assist their clients with a broad variety of transactional business law matters, including:

    • assisting businesses with choice of entity decisions
    • forming for-profit and nonprofit entities
    • applying to the IRS for tax-exempt status
    • drafting and negotiating contracts
    • providing legal advice to nonprofit boards of directors and staff
    • drafting lending and real estate documents
    • assisting with intellectual property matters

    In addition to the development and honing of transactional skills, the Clinic also provides interested students with the opportunity to represent clients on public policy issues impacting small businesses and community organizations. Prior policy projects have included:

    • drafting state legislative reforms to assist low-income homeowners access property tax exemptions,
    • testifying before local and state legislative bodies, and
    • advising clients on regulatory barriers.
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  3. What skills will I develop in the ECDC?

    Clinic students learn how to represent their clients through clinic classes, weekly team meetings with their clinic supervisor, and independent research and initiative. The Clinic’s weekly classes emphasize the applicable substantive law, the larger social and theoretical context of the Clinic’s work, and the development of practical lawyering skills, including:

    • interviewing
    • counseling
    • negotiating
    • contract drafting
    • public speaking
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  4. How is community development incorporated into the ECDC?

    Through community tours, classes, and cases, clinic students learn about Austin’s community development challenges and how they as attorneys can use their transactional lawyering skillset to make an impact in their communities.

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  5. What kind of time commitment is the ECDC?

    The Clinic class meets on Monday afternoons from 2:15-4:15 pm, and also on Thursday mornings from 9:10 to 10:00 am for case rounds. A couple of the Monday classes run until 5:00 pm. There is a mandatory orientation class on the first Friday of the semester, from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. The Clinic is a significant time commitment. Each clinic team typically represents two to three clients, and students are expected to devote an average of 14 hours of week on casework, along with an additional 3-5 hours for class time and assignments.

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