MSU Law Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic receives Inclusive Excellence Grant

The Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives at Michigan State University has approved a $35,000 Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant for the MSU College of Law Small Business & Nonprofit Clinic.

Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants are awarded for MSU projects, programs, and proposals aimed at creating and supporting an inclusive university. The grants promote efforts to enhance the values of quality, connectivity, and inclusiveness within the university's educational and work environments.

The clinic's Community Economic Development Inclusiveness Project will offer legal assistance to local entrepreneurs, with a heightened outreach to the Chinese community. A recent survey conducted by U.S.-China Creative Space, a nonprofit organization in East Lansing, showed that 69 percent of Chinese students in the Lansing area would like to start a business or invest in the United States.

"This project will spur community economic development by offering legal information and support for campus and community entrepreneurs," says Professor Nicole Dandridge, director of the Small Business & Nonprofit Clinic.

This Small Business & Nonprofit Clinic plans to invite several university units and nonprofit organizations to partner in the project. The clinic will develop a curriculum through which student clinicians will receive cultural competency and multi-cultural business training and instruction. With the help of other partners, the trained law students will reach out to the diverse campus and local community through legal business education seminars, open houses, and presentations. One-on-one consultations and direct assistance to interested entrepreneurs will be provided at no charge.

Professor Dandridge remarked, "Cross-cultural engagement education followed by service to diverse campus and community entrepreneurs is in line with our university's value of inclusiveness and the clinic's mission to provide rich experiential learning opportunities for students."

The MSU Law Small Business & Nonprofit Clinic enhances law students' professional development through experiential learning in the specialized transactional areas of business and nonprofit law. The clinic trains confident and competent legal professionals to assist underserved Michigan small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Student clinicians facilitate entrepreneurial empowerment by engaging in community economic development and outreach initiatives that provide timely, quality, legally relevant information. The clinic also creates community and campus partnerships to expand resources available to Michigan small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Published: Fri, Jul 22, 2011