A selection of recent work by students:
CDL students have provided hundreds of hours of legal services to a North Carolina drug rehabilitation center. Before coming to the CDL Clinic, this entrepreneurial nonprofit client had established itself as a national model and had experienced extremely rapid growth. Students first performed a legal audit for the organization and determined that the organization's corporate documents required redrafting to remain in compliance with state and federal law. CDL students also determined that the organization, which maintained several for-profit enterprises and owned a large and expanding real estate portfolio, was exposing all of its assets to judgment creditors by conducting its affairs within a single legal entity. After briefing the organization's board of directors and obtaining its consent, the students created a plan to restructure the single corporation into a holding corporation with numerous subsidiaries.
CDL students successfully formed and obtained tax-exempt status for three North Carolina-based international relief and development organizations that address the health care needs of the world's poorest people. One of the organizations takes an entrepreneurial approach to assisting those afflicted with HIV/AIDS in eastern Africa by helping to form and sustain artisans' cooperatives in poor countries. It will also establish boutiques in North Carolina that will market and sell the artisans' goods, with the profits being returned to the cooperatives. This organization faced significant hurdles in obtaining tax exemption from the IRS, both because of its entrepreneurial, market-driven approach to charity, and because it operated overseas and was subject to national security scrutiny. CDL students performed exhaustive legal research and counseled the organization to amend its business plan without changing its core mission to make it more acceptable to U.S. legal authorities. With that new, carefully tailored approach, the organization obtained its U.S. tax exemption.
CDL students counseled a North Carolina Community Development Corporation regarding its participation in "workforce housing" development. Students looked at whether the organization -- a 501(c)(3) public charity that spends most of its time developing housing for low income individuals -- could participate in the development of workforce housing to benefit people who are at or near the area median income and thus do not necessarily qualify as "low-income." The students were able to suggest alternative strategies to permit the CDC to go forward with its plans without jeopardizing its tax-exempt status.