Amid commentators and law students alike questioning the necessity of having a third year of law school, I am determined to make sure that my law school swan song has some meaning. Part of that meaning, I hope, will come from my participation in the Business Law Transactions Clinic. Having enjoyed the chance to work on cutting-edge issues as a summer associate in a large law firm, I am excited by the opportunity to continue gaining practical experience doing pro bono work as a member of this clinic. Although the clinic has yet to begin, the NYU Law Clinics webpage provides some insight into what I might expect:
“Students participating in the Business Law Transactions Clinic provide legal services on transactional and governance matters relating to the business needs of clients. The Clinic provides legal services to non-profit organizations, as well as to small businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises that may not have access to the traditional legal market and that operate in areas of concern to the public….We expect students in the Clinic will develop analytical, planning, editorial and counseling skills in the context of client projects and reality-grounded class work. Students will learn to understand legal documents as business communications and to communicate complex legal concepts, factual matters and tactical choices in simple, concise, organized and understandable ways.”
Aside from the opportunity to provide pro bono assistance to worthwhile clients and help them with their stimulating projects, I am particularly excited by the chance to gain direct client-contact experience. Newly minted attorneys, especially those working on complex business transactions in large law firms, often have difficulty gaining direct client-contact experience during their first few years of practicing. However, client contact can be invaluable, as it can provide an attorney with insight into how his or her clients analyze and calculate, and what matters most to them and their business; this is information that makes an attorney more effective in meeting the needs of future clients. After having spoken to a bunch of former clinic members (who have all raved about their experiences), I have been assured that this clinic provides students with ample client contact by email, conference call, and even in-person meetings at the clients’ offices. I anticipate such experience being invaluable to me way past my 3L year.
I am clinically excited to begin my 3L year, and I cannot wait to share my experiences as a member of the Business Law Transactions Clinic in my next post. Stay tuned….