Duke Law School Community Enterprise Clinic Receives $150,000 Grant

Main Content

The Racial Justice Collaborative, through its North Carolina Fund, has awarded a $150,000 grant to the Duke Law School Community Enterprise Clinic to partner with the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina (CRA-NC) to promote corporate social responsibility.

The Clinic will partner with CRA-NC and other nonprofit organizations working to change corporate policy and practices related to economic justice, diversity, the environment and labor rights. Specifically, the Clinic will work with these groups to encourage systemic change through a range of corporate advocacy techniques.

“This is a partnership that fulfills the mission of both the Clinic and CRA-NC,” said Andrew Foster, Director of the Clinic. “The collaboration is significant because grassroots activists will now receive legal services that are otherwise prohibitively expensive, and Duke Law students will have the chance to develop sophisticated legal skills while learning about social justice advocacy.”

The Warner Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation made anchor grants that established the Racial Justice Collaborative's North Carolina Fund, a regional initiative that will fund partnerships between attorneys and community organizations to increase social inclusion and promote civil rights. The Triangle Community Foundation and the Fenwick Fund also give to the Fund, which will provide the project with $75,000 for each of the next two years.

“With the Clinic’s help, CRA-NC is filing resolutions to protest predatory payday lending and excessive executive compensation. This takes our ability to achieve social justice to a new level,” said Peter Skillern, Executive Director of CRA-NC.

The Community Enterprise Clinic, formerly the Community Economic Development Clinic, was established in July 2002 to provide legal services to nonprofit organizations seeking to improve their surrounding community. In Fall 2003, the Clinic began representing low-wealth entrepreneurs in the formation, expansion and operation of small businesses that will create economic opportunities and/or provide needed community services. The Clinic, staffed by Duke Law students and faculty, operates like a small, public interest law firm. During the 2003-04 academic year, the Clinic provided more than 3,800 hours or $565,000 worth of legal services at no cost to its clients.

CRA-NC is a nonprofit advocacy agency whose mission is to promote and protect community wealth through changing financial institutions’ philosophy, policy and practices to better serve low wealth communities.