Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Establishes Teaching Fellowship for Nonprofit and General Counsel Clinic at Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School today announced the establishment of the Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe Fellowship for a Nonprofit and General Counsel Clinic at Stanford Law School.
Orrick has committed $250,000 to support a teaching fellowship for five years for the law schoolâ€™s newest clinic, which will provide students with opportunities to work with not-for-profit entities and micro-businesses in a way that provides great value to clients and allows the students a practical opportunity to develop their legal skills.
The Nonprofit and General Counsel Clinic is now one of ten clinics that operate within the umbrella clinical education program, the Stanford Legal Clinic. It is expected to launch in fall 2007, following the appointment of a clinic director and the Orrick Teaching Fellow.
Clinical education at Stanford Law School provides in-depth, hands-on learning opportunities that prepare students for real-world legal practice, and it helps instill in students a fundamental, lifetime commitment to public service and pro bono activities. By teaching students how to practice as general counsel within the context of serving non profits, the clinic provides both legal services to nonprofits and closely supervised clinical training to students that they can apply to both nonprofit and for-profit settings.
Under the supervision of a clinic director and the Orrick Teaching Fellow, students in the Nonprofit and General Counsel Clinic will help form not-for-profit entities, advise clients on corporate governance matters, work on corporate disclosures, and provide general counsel services to the clinicâ€™s clients. In addition to teaching skills in not-for-profit representation, the clinic will enable students to take an entrepreneurial approach to social problems by engaging in activities that will benefit society and generate economic growth as well. These activities could range from public/private partnerships funded initially through charitable gifts to arranging micro-loans for cooperatives.
Professor Larry Marshall, who serves as the David and Stephanie Mills Director of Clinical Education, and Associate Dean for Public Service and Clinical Education, explained that, â€œStanford has a wide array of clinical opportunities in the litigation context, but this will be our first explicitly transactional program. Students pursuing corporate practice careers benefit greatly from the reflective, highly supervised hands-on training that is the hallmark of our clinical program. This new clinic will also drive home the message that public service and pro bono practice takes place in many arenasâ€”in the boardroom as well as the courtroom.â€
The Orrick gift to the Stanford Legal Clinic is the first of its kind for the law school and is a natural extension of Orrick’s significant corporate practice and the firm’s tradition of pro bono service. Orrick is nationally known for the caliber of its transactional practice (areas such as public finance, structured finance, capital markets, emerging companies, and mergers and acquisitions). Orrick is also recognized for its pro bono tradition, providing free legal services on matters ranging from transactional work for nonprofits, to assisting nonprofit organizations that serve underdeveloped countries. Among other things, Orrick administers a $1.8 million micro-financing operation, which provides loans to small startup businesses in developing nations such as Guatemala and Nicaragua that would otherwise not qualify for traditional financing through banks and other lending institutions.
“Orrickâ€™s transactional expertise, community responsibility commitment, and pro bono program align perfectly with the focus and goals of the Nonprofit and General Counsel Clinic at Stanford Law School,â€ said Steve Graham, Managing Director of Corporate Practices for Orrick. â€œWe are happy to support the teaching fellow for this new clinic, and we are excited about the community work that the clinic will do while helping students develop skills in transactional practice areas.â€
â€œWe are deeply grateful to Orrick for this important gift,â€ Stanfordâ€™s Marshall said. â€œThis is a true win-win. Our students are being prepared to be thoughtful, skilled and ethical lawyers at the same time as nonprofit organizations and causes will benefit from high-quality legal services,â€ he added.
The launch of the Nonprofit and General Counsel Clinic and the establishment of the Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe Fellow are part of changes underway to Stanford Law Schoolâ€™s second- and third-year curriculumâ€”part of a comprehensive plan to transform the JD into a multidimensional degree program that combines the study of other disciplines with team-oriented, problem-solving techniques and expanded clinical training.
The school is modifying its curriculum based on the belief that the work of modern lawyers requires a new kind of legal educationâ€”one that is multidimensional and emphasizes problem solving, creativity, collaboration, and professional ethics in addition to a strong grasp of legal theory. A key part of preparing law students for the work they will do is an opportunity to work on real cases, with real clients, before graduationâ€”while students can consult with trusted teachers whose job is to instruct and who can analyze student opinions and assess their work in an academic setting.
â€œExperiential learning must be a part of every studentâ€™s legal education,â€ said law school Dean Larry Kramer. â€œIn a clinic, students learn critical skills in translating concepts into practice and understanding how to make them work in the real world. They also learn firsthand the rewards and importance of using their legal training for the betterment of society.â€
About the Stanford Legal Clinic
Stanford Law School runs a variety of clinics that litigate in a number of specialized fields, including immigrantsâ€™ rights, community law, cyberlaw, environmental protection, and educational advocacy. The clinics operate cohesively as a single law firmâ€”the Stanford Legal Clinic (SLC)â€”and provide pro bono representation to the public. Clinical courses are structured as supervised settings that teach students: how to work with clients and colleagues, how to address the ethical dilemmas that arise in practice, and how to apply legal concepts taught hypothetically or in the abstract in the classroom to a real world, client representation situation.
Overall, the SLC has the capacity for every student to take one clinical course at some point during their three years at Stanford Law School. The schoolâ€™s long term goal is to expand the number and range of its clinical courses and develop a â€œclinical rotationâ€ where students take only a clinic during a particular quarterâ€”with no competing exams or classes.
Many of Stanfordâ€™s clinics have been pathbreaking and have won key federal rulings in the areas of immigrantsâ€™ rights, environmental protection, disability rights, age-discrimination, bankruptcy protection for retirees, and more. The first clinic, the Stanford Community Law Clinic, was the first of its kind in 1984 to provide free legal assistance to low-income Bay Area clients. One of the most well-known clinics and an emerging-model for other law schools is the Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, which has worked on more than two dozen Supreme Court cases, including sixteen merits cases since its founding in 2004.
About Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School is one of the nationâ€™s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, and write books and articles for academic audiences, as well as the popular press. Along with offering traditional law school classes, the school has embraced new subjects and new ways of teaching. The schoolâ€™s home page is located at www.law.stanford.edu.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is a global law firm with 980 lawyers in North America, Europe and Asia. The firm focuses on litigation, complex and novel finance and innovative corporate transactions. Orrick clients include Fortune 100 companies, major industrial and financial corporations, commercial and investment banks, high-growth companies, governmental entities, start-ups and individuals. Pro bono contributions are part of Orrick’s tradition and culture. Pro bono work not only provides desperately needed legal services to the disadvantaged in the communities in which Orrick attorneys live and work, it also offers rewarding opportunities for professional and personal growth. Orrickâ€™s pro bono program is managed by a full-time pro bono coordinator who matches attorney interest with a broad spectrum of opportunities that are publicized internally on a daily basis. The firmâ€™s website is located at: www.orrick.com.
Stanford Law School
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Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
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