Frederick Spight is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Instruction and Interim Director of the Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Clinic
The Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Clinic provides free transactional legal services and counseling to individuals and organizations in Tuscaloosa and the surrounding counties.
The Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Clinic (E-Clinic) provides pro bono, transactional legal services to micro and small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs, social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, community development organizations, and authors, artists, musicians, and student and professional athletes in both urban and rural counties of Alabama. The E-Clinic is particularly committed to working with clients who seek to enhance the social fabric, physical infrastructure, and economic health and well-being of urban, working class, rural, and underserved communities in Alabama, as well as supporting businesses and organizations owned and operated by traditionally underrepresented groups. The Student Attorneys produce all aspects of the representation and work under the supervision of Associate Professor and Clinic Director Casey Faucon and a Staff Attorney.
There is no fee for the services, but clients are responsible for all administrative fees and other expenses associated with the representation, such as state filing or licensing fees.
The E-Clinic provides the full suite of transactional legal services to new and existing organizations, including but not limited to:
The E-Clinic does not write business plans, prepare income tax returns, prosecute patents, or provide assistance with initiating or defending litigation or business disputes.
To schedule an intake meeting, please submit an online Request for Legal Services Form, which includes more information on our intake considerations, or call (205) 348-4960 to request a Form. After conducting the initial intake meeting, the E-Clinic will decide whether to take on your matters for legal representation.
If you would like the E-Clinic Student Attorneys to conduct a legal counseling workshop for your organization or present on a specific legal topic relevant to entrepreneurship or nonprofit issues, please reach out to the Clinic Director via email, or call (205) 348-4960 to leave a message for the Clinic Director.
“The entrepreneurship clinic gave me the opportunity to use the knowledge I learned in the classroom in a practical way. I was able to experience client interactions before graduation and build relationships with local entrepreneurs.” – Chandler Williams
“Participating in a clinic gives you real-world legal experience and learning opportunities that are unlike any other part of law school. The E-Clinic specifically gives you an amazing opportunity to meet and serve entrepreneurs in West Alabama. The hands on experience and interaction with clients I had as a student attorney in the E-Clinic gave me a genuine glimpse into the legal profession.” – Joseph Meigs ‘22
“The Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Clinic was great exposure to the startup ecosystem. It was the best hands on experience in law school, and having ownership of the client relationship was an invaluable experience. The responsibility of listening and responding to the needs of the client, handling administrative work, and collaborating with our colleagues was a fantastic primer for being an attorney.” – Gavin Baum-Blake
“I learned that quicker isn’t always better and to stop rushing things that may need a little extra TLC. While aiming for effectiveness, the approach must be efficient. Imposter syndrome is very real and may cause you to believe you have to overcompensate; however, acknowledging failures leaves room for growth. It’s always better to take your time to get things right, rather than rushing through and having to start all over again.” – Tiyona Griggs
“Working as a student-attorney for the Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Clinic (“E-Clinic”) was hands down the most enriching experience of my legal education. With the oversight of an extremely accomplished supervising attorney, I was able to become a skilled attorney by taking ownership of my own clients which allowed me to see how I am adequately able to handle legal issues independently. The professional growth and practical knowledge that I obtained in my time in the E-Clinic played the most significant part in preparing me to be successful in my career.” – Jessica Pope
The E-Clinic provides both challenging client work and a rigorous classroom component to expose students to substantive legal concepts related to entrepreneurship, business law, nonprofit law, economic development, and intellectual property law. Students will learn transactional practice skills that are transferable to all types of transactional practice.
2 credit hours for clinic seminar and 4 credit hours for clinic client work, for a total of 6 credit hours, with the option to take an additional semester of clinic client work for 4 credit hours. Student Attorneys enrolled in the E-Clinic can expect to log between 12-18 hours each week on clinic and client-related work, depending on the week, between seminar, supervision, client work, and Clinic office hours.
The E-Clinic is open to 2L and 3L students who have taken or are currently enrolled in Legal Professions and Corporations. 3Ls who have a practice card receive a preference, but enrollment spots are otherwise filled according to the Law Clinic Program’s lottery system.
The administration of both the 2-hour seminar and the 4-hour client work component have the following general learning goals in mind:
Overview of seminar component
Tuesday Seminar is our time to discuss substantive legal and business topics and for you to engage in practical training to successfully develop your transactional legal knowledge and skills. The E-Clinic seminar is designed to:
Thursday Seminar (Firm Meetings) is our time to collaborate, refine your practical skills, and discuss issues and concerns with your client work as a group. We will use Firm Meetings for you to present your clients and conduct Client Pitch Presentations, lead Potential Client Discussions during Intake Meeting weeks, conduct practical simulations, and conduct case rounds. We will also use the Firm Meeting times to present to community members on relevant legal topics.
Student Attorneys enrolled in the E-Clinic work together in pairs to complete their client work. Between them, each pair shares equal responsibility for a number of for-profit clients, and, individually, each Student Attorney is solely responsible for one non-profit client. To supervise the completion of this work, each pair has a weekly supervision meeting, as well as weekly office hours. Each pair is also responsible for one week of intake meetings. Student Attorneys handle all aspects of the client representation, including client interviewing and fact gathering, conducting research and drafting counseling memorandum, counseling on and drafting contracts, filing applications on behalf of relevant governmental agencies and communicating with such third parties, conducting board governance trainings, and presenting on relevant legal topics to community groups.
Law Student Rachel Parker interviewed by WVUA News about the Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Clinic:
Clinic Director, Prof. Casey Faucon, in collaboration with Tuscaloosa Builds, provides information about the Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Clinic: