Student Experience

Duke Law School is nationally recognized for the strength of its academic programs, particularly in the area of business and finance law. The Community Enterprise Clinic is designed to supplement the Law School's core business law curriculum by giving students the opportunity to put what they have learned in the classroom to work for real clients. In this way, students deepen their knowledge and understanding in a number of substantive law areas and strengthen their legal skills.

Substantive Law

Students have the opportunity to deepen their legal knowledge in a number of substantive law areas including:

  • Community Economic Development law
  • Corporate law
  • Securities law
  • Real Estate law
  • Tax law, including the law of tax-exempt organizations
  • Legislative and administrative law
  • Employee benefits and compensation law

Skills Development

Much of the work students do in the Community Enterprise Clinic helps clients take transactional projects from conception to implementation. As a result, the Community Enterprise Clinic provides students with continuing opportunities not only to structure transactions, but also to build the skills that are required in any business law practice, such as:

  • Problem Identification and problem solving
  • Business planning
  • Client interviewing and counseling
  • Negotiating
  • Drafting
  • Legal analysis
  • Case management
  • Administration, including file management and timekeeping

Companion Course in Community Economic Development Law

In addition to the Community Enterprise Clinic, Duke Law offers a course in Community Economic Development Law. Taught by Andrew Foster, Associate Clinical Professor of Law and director of the Community Enterprise Clinic, this course is highly recommended for students who wish to enroll in the Community Enterprise Clinic. The course provides students with an introduction to key issues in community development law that many find to be helpful in their clinic work.

Involving Students in Cutting-Edge Transactions

"Being involved in the Community Enterprise Clinic was a truly inspiring experience for me. It was amazing to work with such dedicated individuals and to be able to apply the legal knowledge that I had obtained in class to real clients. It's refreshing to see law students actively involved in legal work with non-profit or low-income clients and it showed me that there are areas of the law that may not pay the top dollars, but are infinitely more rewarding."

Ashley Oland '04