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Small Business Legal Clinic

Intern Program


Working under the guidance of an experienced Clinical Law Professor, upper division law students (“interns”) represent small and emerging businesses in business transactional matters. The interns handle the majority of the client’s work, learning how to interview and counsel clients, draft and negotiate contracts, and how to manage a law practice. Interns also have the opportunity to give presentations at community events held by local small business development centers. The Intern Program operates in accordance with the academic calendar.


  • Image previewAfter a year of lectures and casebooks, I was worried that being a lawyer might not be as great as I thought. But after starting my clinical experience, I knew I would love being a lawyer. Of course the substantive learning I did in class was important, but being able to meet with real clients and working on real matters is an unparalleled experience. I highly recommend that every student interested in transactional practice participate the SBLC intern programMore >
  • The SBLC provides a fantastic opportunity for both law students and the community. I spent two semesters at the SBLC, one as an intern and another as the Student Director. Both semesters gave me valuable practice in the skills I learned at school, and put me in front of small business owners who truly needed my help as they struggled to better themselves and their businesses.

    While the experience I gained was invaluable, I think that the SBLC’s impact on the community is incalculable. The SBLC provides a foundation where aspiring attorneys can learn the value and impact of pro bono services. But more importantly, SBLC provides services to a vastly underserved marketplace; offering support to businesses as they struggle to compete, grow, and navigate through complex business and legal issues.

    I highly recommend the SBLC to both law students interested in business law, and business that are facing challenges and need legal counsel.More >
  • Image previewI spent two semesters at the SBLC, as a Student Intern in Spring 2011 and as Student Director in Fall 2011. I would recommend the SBLC for any student interested in business law. There is no classroom substitute for actually meeting with clients, identifying their legal needs, and working together with them to accomplish their goals. Whereas the academic aspect of law school teaches you the “why” of business law, the SBLC teaches you the “how,” as in how to actually form a business entity or draft an operating agreement. Additionally, the SBLC is unique in that students receive constant support and feedback about the quality of their work and their skills in client interaction.  During my two semesters at the SBLC, I worked on meaningful and interesting projects, such as drafting a complex operating agreement for a manager-managed LLC, helping clients understand the legal effects of an offer letter and an employment handbook, and preparing presentations for CLEs and local business owners. These projects, as well as the support from the SBLC’s clinical professors, gave me a greater understanding about what the practice of business law actually entails. For anyone interested in business law, the SBLC is an excellent way to enhance your practical skills.

    Dan Simon,
    Multnomah County Circuit CourtMore >
  • Image previewThe SBLC is an experience that is unparalleled by any other law school course. I first came to the SBLC in the Spring of 2010 as a Legal Intern. During that semester I worked with a client who wanted to create a legal entity for his modeling agency business and a client who wanted to create an environmental non-profit attempting to organize a nationwide march to highlight sustainable living practices. The challenges and successes I had with those clients inspired me to return to the SBLC as the Student Director in Spring 2011.

    As Student Director I continued to work one-on-one with clients, but on more complex matters. One client was seeking a federal trademark for its business, a web-based provider of information on recycling and sustainable practices. It was my pleasure to obtain the trademark for the business—a first for the SBLC’s Intern Program. As Student DirectorI also assisted the Legal Interns with their client matters. I met with each student to discuss their clients’ needs and plan a good course of action. We would also role play client meetings and counseling sessions, the interns would be prepared for their client meetings. The SBLC operates like a small law firm which gives the Legal Interns a glimpse into the “real” legal world. I really enjoyed working at the SBLC and I hope to stay connected with them when I am a practicing attorney.

    Shawn Overstreet, Attorney, Multnomah County DA’s OfficeMore >