Small Business Legal Clinic
NOTE: Please read carefully as this course description contains differing information depending on the semester of interest (Fall, Spring, Summer).
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings between interns and clients may occur by video or telephone conference.
Small Business Legal Clinic- Professor Susan Felstiner
- Course Type: Highly Specialized & Experiential
- Credits: 3
- Enrollment Limit: Determined by Registrar
The Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC) provides valuable “hands on” legal training to second and third-year law student interns. Under the supervision of the clinical professor, interns take the lead role in the representation of low-income, small, and emerging businesses and nonprofit organizations. Interns learn to conduct the initial client interview, problem solve, research client specific issues, draft client documents, counsel clients, create deliverables to meet their clients’ goals, end the attorney-client relationship, and close the file. Typical client matters include entity selection and formation, contract drafting, regulatory compliance, corporate and nonprofit governance, trademark registration, and employee policy drafting.
The SBLC operates as a law firm. Interns bill time and maintain client files. Interns also participate in community outreach events or other public speaking engagements designed to educate and assist small businesses.
The course is a combination of office hours at the SBLC offices in downtown Portland and seminar classes. The seminars cover substantive law as well as practical skills, and provide interns opportunities to discuss their client matters with other interns.
Fall or Spring Semester: Twice a week, interns work at the SBLC for four hours (a total of eight hours per week). Interns also attend a seminar on Fridays from 9:00am to 11:00am at the law school or other locations determined by the clinical professor.
Orientation will occur during the first week of classes. Interns will meet individually with the clinical professor on Monday, have the first orientation during office hours on Wednesday and a second orientation on Friday from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Orientation provides the information and skills training necessary for interns to meet their first client as soon as possible. Attendance at Orientation is mandatory. Interns with a regularly scheduled Friday class that conflicts with the all-day Orientation must coordinate with the clinical professor to make up the Orientation.
The SBLC divides office hours into two sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students should register for their preferred office hours.
Monday/Wednesday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (3 students)
Monday/Wednesday: 1:00 am to 5:00 pm (3 students)
Unscheduled/TBD: must contact professor for approval (2 students)
NOTE: The SBLC strives to be accessible to all students, including evening students. If a student has a conflict with the set office hour schedules, please contact the clinical professor about possible approval for the Unscheduled/TBD section. Alternative office hour schedules may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
The SBLC is a popular class with limited enrollment. Early registration is encouraged. Since attendance is mandatory, students should select a schedule that will permit regular and timely attendance. The Registrar will maintain a wait list for each section.
- Student Evaluations: Interns are evaluated on their representation of their clients, attendance, seminar participation, and written assignments.
Additional Information: The SBLC website has additional information about the SBLC. The SBLC’s address is 310 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 1018, Portland, Oregon 97204.
Summer Session: Interns work in the SBLC offices 26 hours per week. Interns typically work Monday through Thursday, from 9:00am to 3:30pm, with a half hour break for lunch. The week of Memorial Day, interns work Tuesday through Friday. During these hours, interns and the clinical professor also meet for seminars.
- Prerequisite: Business Associations I
- Evaluation Method: Credit/no credit based on representation of clients; attendance; written assignments
- Capstone: no
- WIE: yes