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

Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic

Students meeting with a client at Rancho Vista.
Students meeting with a client at Rancho Vista.
Left to Right: Marina Garza, Arthur Rodrigues, Joyce Men and Matthew Badders.

Clinic students provide transactional business law representation 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.

The legal services we provide include: choice of entity counseling, formation of for-profit and nonprofit entities, assistance in obtaining and maintaining federal tax-exempt status, contract review and drafting, real estate work, trademark and copyright work, employment law counseling, and general counsel services for nonprofit boards of directors.  The Clinic also offers a policy tract in which students work with community groups to develop local and statewide policy solutions to community development issues. The Clinic is a partnership between Texas Law and Texas Community Building With Attorney Resources (Texas C-BAR), a project of Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

Clinic clients, students and clinic faculty Eliza Platts-Mills

Cases and Projects

Report: Addressing Dangerous Rental Properties in Austin (Spring and Summer 2015)

The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic has published the report, “An Analysis of Austin’s Repeat Offender Program and Efforts to Address Dangerous Rental Properties.” The report finds major flaws with the City of Austin’s policies for addressing hazardous building conditions at older rental properties. The report, prepared by students and faculty, expands on the Clinic’s prior work in this area and outlines a number of policy recommendations to improve Austin’s programs for addressing dangerous properties.  The report follows a series of tragedies involving hazardous conditions at local rental properties, which have led to the displacement of dozens of low-income tenants, as well as deaths.

For Randy Teich, the president the North Austin Civic Association, which commissioned the report as a client of the Clinic, the report’s policy recommendations need to be adopted in order to protect tenant lives and improve neighborhood safety. “Many rental properties in Austin continue to lack any kind of maintenance program where any day now another tenant or guest could be killed because of hazardous building conditions,” said Teich.

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