Community Development Clinic

Director: James J. Kelly Jr.


In the Community Development Clinic, advanced law students, certified by the State of Indiana to practice law as legal interns, offer free non-litigation legal services to nonprofits and small businesses.

The student interns advise, prepare documents, and represent clients on a range of business, nonprofit, and real estate law matters. Upper-level law students work directly with clients, in pairs or individually, and take primary responsibility for all client matters under the guidance of full-time faculty. Students receive Law School credit, and participate in classroom sessions and meetings that provide guidance and support on client issues.

The Community Development Clinic allows students to gain experience working with clients within a structured educational framework, while strengthening underserved local communities.

For example, the Community Development Clinic helps clients:

  • structure and form nonprofit organizations, corporations, partnerships, and LLCs;
  • counsel boards and staff as to their legal duties and best practices in running a nonprofit or small business;
  • apply for 501(c)(3) or other tax-exempt status;
  • draft and review contracts;
  • advise and represent clients on the leasing, purchase, and sale of real property;
  • understand licensing, employment, and other regulatory compliance obligations.

Student interns can also provide training for groups on specific areas of the law and advocate for changes in the law itself when needed.

Information for potential clients:

The Community Development Clinic reviews cases for intake on an application basis.

News from the Community Development Clinic

Community Development Clinic helps revitalize South Bend neighborhood – August 30, 2018

Clinic helps student-led startup, Impowerus, transform an idea into a business – March 12, 2018

Clinic client, Green Bridge Growers, featured in Wall Street Journal – November 26, 2017