Social Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic

Offering an opportunity to discuss legal issues impacting social entrepreneurs.

Latham & Watkins LLP — in collaboration with Ashoka, Impact Hub DC and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program — will hold another session of the Social Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic on August 1, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Impact Hub DC coworking space.

Applications are due on June 19, 2017, and can be completed by following the directions below.

Through the Social Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (SELC), organized and run with the support of Ashoka, Impact Hub DC and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Latham & Watkins supports Washington, D.C. area social entrepreneurs who are working to solve pressing social issues. Social entrepreneurs and social enterprises frequently encounter a variety of legal questions in the process of developing their world-changing ideas. The SELC provides D.C. area social entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet with Latham lawyers who can provide free legal advice on legal issues that early stage social enterprises commonly face. The SELC is also a chance to meet and network with other social entrepreneurs, learn more about their ventures, and discuss how we can all better collaborate to strengthen the local social enterprise ecosystem.

Clinic Services

The SELC can provide brief, general advice and assistance related to the following categories of legal issues to both for-profit and non-profit social enterprises:

  • Choosing the right legal entity for your social enterprise
  • Process of entity formation
  • Corporate governance (i.e., review of bylaws or operating agreements, discussion of governance structures, advice on best practices)
  • Contract review
  • Intellectual property issues (i.e., patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets)
  • Internet issues, such as preparing privacy policies and terms of service
  • Labor and employment policies
  • Crowdfunding
Past Participants & Issues

During past SELC sessions, Latham lawyers have assisted both for-profit and non-profit social enterprises active in the D.C. region and beyond in a range of industries including cleantech, immigration services, citizen/government interaction, healthcare, education and media.

The article below contains further information about the SELC:

Program Details

Social entrepreneurs who are interested in participating must submit a short application. Accepted applicants will be assigned a team of Latham lawyers who will spend time in advance of the SELC familiarizing themselves with the participants’ legal issues and who will request any other information that the Latham team may need prior to the SELC.

The SELC will begin with a brief introduction and networking session. Then participants will meet with their assigned team of Latham lawyers for approximately two hours. During that time, participants will speak with their Latham team about the legal issues raised in their applications.

How to Apply

The application package available below contains further information and instructions. All applications are due by June 19, 2017.

SELC Application Package

Please note that space is limited and that participants will be selected based on, among other factors, the information provided in the applications, the complexity of the legal issues and the availability of subject matter experts. 

For those social entrepreneurs who are not yet sure whether they are ready to submit a full application to the SELC, the organizers of the SELC would be happy to provide some preliminary guidance on whether a given social enterprise or a given set of legal questions would be a good fit for the SELC. Please click on this link to send us an email with brief answers (of 1-2 sentences or more) to the following questions, and we would be happy to get in touch with our impressions:

  • What is the name, the address and the website (if any) of your social enterprise?
  • What does your social enterprise do? In other words, what is the “elevator pitch” for your social enterprise? Please mention the geographic area in which your social enterprise operates.
  • Have you created a legal entity for your social enterprise? If so, under what state is the legal entity organized?
  • What legal questions or issues do you have on which you are seeking advice?

After receiving your email, the SELC organizers will reply with feedback on your responses.

Contact Us

If you have any questions related to participating in the SELC, please feel free to contact Latham or the Latham organizers:

Social Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic

M. Greg Braswell

Elizabeth Marcil

Keely O'Malley

Participation in the clinic is not guaranteed. The scope of legal consultation is limited to the SELC visit and is provided per the terms of the waiver. Please note that submitting an application or providing answers to the preliminary questionnaire does not create an attorney-client relationship. You have the right to seek legal advice from other sources and you have the right to decline our services (if offered).

01 August 2017
Washington, D.C., USA

9:30 a.m. to noon 
Impact Hub DC coworking space
419 7th Street NW, Third Floor
Washington, D.C., 20004

Notice: We appreciate your interest in Latham & Watkins. If your inquiry relates to a legal matter and you are not already a current client of the firm, please do not transmit any confidential information to us. Before taking on a representation, we must determine whether we are in a position to assist you and agree on the terms and conditions of engagement with you. Until we have completed such steps, we will not be deemed to have a lawyer-client relationship with you, and will have no duty to keep confidential the information we receive from you. Thank you for your understanding.