Business Start-Up Clinic

RWU Law’s Business Start-up Clinic (formerly the Community Economic Development Clinic) provides transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations and small businesses in Rhode Island.

Under supervision from faculty licensed to practice law in Rhode Island, second- and third-year law students work directly with clients on matters such as entity formation, tax exemption, governance, contract review and drafting, and intellectual property issues.  Students also work with other professionals and organizations to learn more about and to serve the entrepreneurial and nonprofit community.

Students can expect to gain actual lawyering skills that will help them more easily transition from law school to practice including interviewing, counseling, client communication, navigating ethics and professional responsibility issues, researching, planning, and analyzing potential business decisions.  Those enrolled in the clinic will work on a range of projects for organizational clients such as determining the best legal entity choice that fits the clients’ needs, assisting with the drafting and filing of organizational and governance documents, working on intellectual property issues, and creating agreements.

 The Business Start-up Clinic is also part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Law School Clinic Certification Program, which allows law students enrolled in a participating law school's clinic program to practice Intellectual Property Law before the USPTO with close guidance from a Law School Faculty Clinic Supervisor.

Learn more about becoming a client of this clinic

Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.


After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.


Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.


Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.