We represent established nonprofits only, some of whom are quite large. We focus on these organizations because they have attributes that make them great for learning about corporate practice:
They are corporations with boards of directors.
- They have meaningful governance and reporting obligations.
- They run complex programs, generate revenues, build brands, create and license intellectual property, own or lease facilities, and have employees.
- They engage in collaborations, ventures, and acquisition transactions.
- They deal with the strategic and operating challenges of programmatic and geographic expansion.
These features result in good projects and good learning opportunities for our students.
At the same time, our clients typically are lean enough, and the projects are of sufficient importance, that students work directly with senior management. Most often our primary contact is the CEO, CFO, board chair, or general counsel.
We think these engagements provide useful preparation for both institutional and emerging company practice. They give students opportunities to assess facts; develop advice; read and write legal documents; prepare emails and other client communications; lead meetings and calls with clients; collaborate with experienced lawyers; and manage projects.
The projects also expose students to nonprofit law and to governance work, both of which are useful for future pro bono service and membership on nonprofit boards of directors.
The course includes a class that generally meets twice a week. Class meetings center on student-led workshops regarding client projects and on orientation to corporate practice, including discussion of core commercial relationships such as acquisition, credit, and licensing, and practice skills such as transaction planning and management. We’re often joined by guest speakers.