Information for Clinic Clients
Legal Services Offered
The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic offers free legal assistance to Austin-area nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. The services are provided in a law school clinic setting where second- and third-year law students are closely supervised by the Clinic’s law faculty, who are attorneys with many years of transactional legal experience. We assist our clients with a broad range of legal transactional matters related to starting or operating a nonprofit or for-profit business. Our legal services include:
- forming for-profit and non-profit entities
- drafting and reviewing contracts
- providing advice on legal regulations
- employment law matters
- trademark and copyright applications
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 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 applicants need to meet the following criteria:
- The primary mission of the organization or a major program of the organization is to serve low-income populations.
- The organization lacks the ability to afford legal assistance, or paying for legal services would negatively impact its charitable work.
- The nonprofit is located in the Austin region.
- Start-up nonprofits need to meet additional requirements. See the Texas C-BAR website for additional information.
Small business applicants need to meet the following criteria:
- The applicant cannot afford outside legal assistance.
- 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).
- The applicant’s business is located in the Austin region.
How to Become a Client
To get started, small businesses should complete our online application. Nonprofit organizations should apply through our partner Texas C-BAR, using C-BAR’s online application. Please note on the C-BAR application if you are interested in receiving services from the Clinic.
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. After you have signed and returned a copy of the agreement to the Clinic accepting these terms, our legal representation officially begins.
Because we serve the majority of our clients during the academic year (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 a few weeks before the start of each law school semester.
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 email@example.com or call (512) 232-2574.