Community Economic Development Clinic 2021 Highlights
Representing start-ups, existing businesses, and nonprofit and other community-based organizations, student attorneys in the Community Economic Development (CED) Clinic worked diligently to help their clients navigate the consequences of the pandemic on a diverse range of projects. Start-up clients included a healthcare app, mushroom growers, and a dance instruction program. Those projects included advice about moving a new business from its home state to Colorado, obtaining appropriate licenses and permits, and operating a home-based business. Students also advised an existing woman-owned notary business on updating contracting practices and adopting certain business best practices. Responding to specific outreach from an attorney in a mountain town, students researched local limitations on deed restrictions that, while intended to promote affordable housing, actually restrict the availability of affordable housing by limiting the ability of owners to refinance so that they can afford to continue to pay mortgage and property tax expenses—particularly problematic for local retirees on fixed incomes. Because so many of Colorado’s mountain towns are experiencing the extreme development that quickly leads to housing affordability challenges for local communities, the students’ work has the potential to inform reform in many communities.
The CED Clinic began representing clients in fall 2011 and is in its tenth year of teaching and training students though transactional public interest practice. The clinic orientation begins with introducing students to the origins of the community economic development movement and the important connection between the CED Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The strength of that connection is not always as obvious as it should be in conversations about equity, and the CED Clinic is expanding its practice to amplify that connection. The pandemic’s onslaught on BIPOC small businesses and communities, and the resulting ineffectiveness of many of the tools proposed to address those challenges because they failed to account for historic and systemic discriminations, is just but one example. The CED Clinic will continue to advance economic justice through the representation of underrepresented small business owners and community-based organizations. And, in addition, work in the CED Clinic will focus on specific advocacy efforts that sit at this intersection. More details to come!
CEDC Faculty Highlights
Professor Patience Crowder
Panelist: Fortifying Experiential Education and Ourselves Through Leadership in the Clinical Community, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education (April 28, 2021).
Panelist: Building Our Students’ Foundation in Intersectionality, Co-presenter: Fortifying Experiential Education and Ourselves Through Leadership in the Clinical Community, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education (April 28, 2021).
Panelist: Live-Client Clinics: Reexamining How Clinics Connect our Work to Real Life Events Outside the Classroom, AALS Clinical Directors’ Conference (June 10, 2021).