Twelve Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law students gained hands-on business law experience on Friday, April 24 during a pro bono small business clinic hosted on the Fowler Law campus and organized by The Public Law Center, the Association of Corporate Counsel and the local firm of Snell & Wilmer.
The event included a two-hour training for Fowler students and volunteering attorneys followed by a two-hour open client meeting. During the client meetings, small business owners received free counsel from both working attorneys and Fowler Law students on topics ranging from choosing a business entity to intellectual property concerns.
“We were eager to be a part of the event because it gave our students a unique opportunity to develop their legal counseling skills, perform some pro bono service to local entrepreneurs, and work alongside successful attorneys with many years of experience,” said Carolyn Young Larmore, director of the
Fowler School of Law Externship Program
During the client meetings, Fowler Law students shadowed working attorneys and had the opportunity to interact directly with the small business clients. Students will also be responsible for compiling a case study and following up with their mentor for the day.
Fowler Law student Brian Huyhn
, worked with a Snell & Wilmer attorney to offer guidance to a clothing designer. He said he appreciated the opportunity to not only gain practical client experience but also place broad textbook concepts into a more specialized context.
“The Snell & Wilmer mentors took what we were learning in class and brought to it practical California laws for a variety of issues that don’t necessarily get exposure in the classroom,” he said.
A reception for volunteers and Fowler students sponsored by Snell & Wilmer followed the clinic, offering student participants an added networking opportunity.
Providing Fowler Law students increased exposure to real world practice is just one benefit of the clinic designed to be beneficial to building a stronger local community.
“As attorneys we have this special skill to offer and why shouldn’t we?” said Sarah Efthymiou, staff attorney at the Public Law Center and co-organizer. “The clinic provides small businesses free support while offering local attorneys who have less experience or connections an opportunity to build them.”
Find information about similar events and student resources at the
Career Services Office