Summary of Activities and Accomplishments
The Duke Law School CED Clinic completed its first semester of operations in December 2002. It was exciting, challenging and rewarding.
During the semester, the CED Clinic enrolled 4 third year students and provided 425 hours of legal services to 11 clients. Our cases offered the students meaningful opportunities to develop critical legal skills such as interviewing and counseling, drafting and case management. The students also had the chance to strengthen their knowledge across a wide variety of substantive legal areas including: real estate law, general corporate law, the law of corporate and real estate finance, administrative law, employee compensation and benefits law, tax law and the law of tax-exempt organizations.
The clients of the CED Clinic also benefited greatly from our services. In total, we provided $45,000 worth of legal services at no cost to our clients this semester. Additionally, the CED Clinic enabled its clients to achieve important objectives in the areas of affordable housing, community economic development and public policy. Without access to our services, many of our clients would not have been able to successfully move forward with their projects. Other clients might have achieved success, but to do so they would have spent substantial amounts of their already limited funds to obtain private counsel. Our work made a significant difference for these organizations and the low-wealth communities they serve.
Housing: 160+ affordable rental units. In the area of affordable housing, the CED Clinic worked with our clients to develop or maintain more than 160 units of affordable rental housing. Our services included organizing development entities, obtaining site control of development property, structuring new development transactions, structuring redevelopment transactions and providing advice with respect to low-income housing tax credit projects.
The CED Clinic also represented a number of clients focused on community economic development. Our representation is this area helped to:
- Make IDAs available statewide: The CED Clinic assisted one client to organize a new statewide nonprofit organization that will promote self-sufficiency for low-wealth individuals through the use of Individual Development Accounts and other asset development strategies.
- Protect the interests of employees in company sales: We helped a client identify the best employee compensation and benefits strategies for ensuring that low-wage workers share in the financial benefits that arise in connection with the sale of venture capital-backed companies.
- Expand the availability of quality daycare: In another case, we assisted our client in drafting a series of agreements that it will use to significantly expand the number of high-quality after-school care slots available to at-risk children living in low-wealth neighborhoods in one of North Carolina’s poorest cities.
- Leverage the New Markets Tax Credit for inner-city revitalization: Finally, the CED Clinic also enabled a client to develop and begin to implement a strategy for using the New Markets Tax Credit to stimulate the revitalization of a historically black business district in the Piedmont Triad.
Public Policy: Protecting North Carolinians who live in manufactured housing. In the area of public policy, the CED Clinic assisted our client with the development of a specific legislative agenda that will improve the quality of life of North Carolinians who live in manufactured housing. Specifically, the legislation, if passed, will improve the rights of tenants living in mobile home parks in the state. In addition, it will give North Carolinians who own the land on which their manufactured house is located all the benefits and consumer protections that other homeowners enjoy under North Carolina law.
The CED Clinic accomplished a great deal in its first semester and we laid a strong foundation on which to build in the future. We look forward to providing a unique educational experience for additional students and to serving more clients. Working together through the CED Clinic, Duke Law students and our community-based clients will significantly improve the quality of life in our state’s most vulnerable communities.