The Duke Law School Community Enterprise Clinic is a resource for non-profit organizations and low-wealth entrepreneurs working to improve the quality of life in low-wealth communities through community economic development ("CED") strategies. We represent a wide range of clients to help them overcome barriers, attract resources and improve the quality of life in the communities they serve.
“The legal services we provide are a reflection of what our clients are doing, and many non-profits have diversified,” says Andrew Foster, Clinical Professor of Law and director of the clinic. “Non-profits are becoming more entrepreneurial, in part because sources of funding are drying up, and in other respects in an attempt to make their work more effective. As they start to do business differently, new legal challenges arise.”
Students are being called on to analyze whether new social enterprises are outside the specific and defined charitable purposes that might threaten an organization’s 501c3 tax exemption, set up subsidiary companies, or spot potential conflicts of interest within the organizational structure. "On an ongoing basis," notes Foster, "the clinic takes on the role of outside general counsel to its clients’ complex and evolving projects."