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The Community Development Law Clinic is a two-semester clinic in which third-year students provide corporate and transactional counsel to North Carolina nonprofit community development organizations. The CDL Clinic aims to help students develop skills in corporate and transactional law while serving the legal needs of under-resourced North Carolina communities.

CDL students work on a wide variety of business law projects including:

  • Forming corporations and limited liability companies.
  • Spinning off subsidiaries for existing nonprofit corporations.
  • Advising organizations regarding local, state and federal taxation.
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts on behalf of nonprofit organizations.
  • Helping structure joint ventures between nonprofit and for-profit entities.
  • Obtaining necessary state licenses for nonprofit program.

Students take primary responsibility for interviewing clients about their legal needs, structuring the legal projects, negotiating on behalf of their clients and drafting all necessary legal documents. Depending on the scope of the project, students are assigned to clients individually or in teams.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Law School Clinic Pilot Program

UNC School of Law has been accepted into the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Law School Clinic Pilot Program for academic year 2014-15. As a result, there are two open clinic spots in the CDL clinic to work on trademark cases under the supervision of Attorney Devon White, a UNC School of Law adjunct professor. Students will provide comprehensive counsel to trademark clients on whatever subjects are relevant to the particular trademark application, including the strengths and/or weaknesses of the proposed mark, the spectrum of distinctiveness and scope of rights typically afforded to a mark, the availability of the mark, and the benefits and risks involved with seeking registration of the mark with the USPTO.

Students will counsel clients on the four key stages involved in pursuing a federal registration as well as potential challenges to the application, publication for opposition and the basics of other later potential challenges.

The clinic is a full-year, two-semester clinic in which students earn three credits/semester (spring and fall). It is graded.

Trademark Law (three credits, taught by Prof. Deborah Gerhardt) is a pre-requisite or co-requisite (it is offered in fall 2014) for these two slots. The CDL Clinic pre/co-requisite course, the Law of Non-Profit Organizations, is not required in the USPTO pilot program.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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