Clinic Client Information and Application

Online application included below

LEGAL SERVICES OFFERED

The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic offers free transactional legal representation to small businesses, social enterprises, artists, nonprofit organizations, and community groups in Texas. The services are provided in a law clinic setting where second- and third-year law students are closely supervised by the Clinic’s law faculty. The faculty are licensed attorneys with more than 55 years combined transactional legal experience.

 

We assist our clients with a broad range of transactional and policy matters. Our legal services include:

  • forming for-profit and non-profit entities
  • drafting and reviewing contracts
  • providing advice on legal regulations
  • creating personnel policies
  • preparing trademark applications

The Clinic also assists clients with complex problem-solving and policy support to identify innovative approaches for increasing housing stability, opening paths to economic opportunity, and fostering equitable and inclusive communities.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME A CLINIC CLIENT?

Our services are best suited to clients who have clear ideas about their goals and plans for their nonprofit or business venture. We make client selection decisions based on client eligibility, staffing availability, and alignment with our law clinic teaching goals and the clinic setting.

Nonprofit organization and community group applicants need to meet the following criteria:

  • The primary mission or a major focus of the organization or group is to serve low-income persons or historically-marginalized communities.
  • The organization or group cannot afford legal assistance or paying for legal services would negatively impact its charitable work.
  • The organization or group is located in Texas.

Small business and social enterprise applicants need to meet the following criteria:

  • Each of the owners’ net household income falls within our income-eligibility guidelines:
    • High priority: under $26,000
    • Eligible: $26,000-$78,000
    • Will consider given other compelling factors: $78,000-$130,000
    • Ineligible: over $130,000
  • The applicant has not received a significant round of outside funding or financing from investors.
  • The applicant has a business plan (for new start-ups).

Priority is given to applicants located in the Austin region (Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell, or Bastrop Counties).

How to Become a Client

To get started, complete our online application.

If we select you as a client, our law students will contact you to set up an in-person interview and present you with a professional retainer agreement detailing the scope and terms of our representation. We typically meet with our clients two to four times during a term. After you have signed and returned a copy of the agreement to the Clinic accepting these terms, our legal representation officially begins.

Because we open new cases only during the fall and spring terms (September-December and January-May), the timing of your legal needs may impact whether we are able to accept you as a client. While we accept applications for representation year-round, we generally accept most new clients 1-3 months before the start of each law school term.

Costs

Our legal services are free. Clients are responsible for paying any outside costs associated with the representation, such as government-mandated filing fees or application fees.

Additional Questions? Email ecdc@law.utexas.edu or call (512) 232-1564.