Students who enroll in this offering may count the credits towards the JD experiential learning requirement.
Note: The credit breakdown for this course is as follows: three total credits with two credits awarded in the winter and one credit awarded in the spring.
Exam Type: No Exam
Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship combines both theory and practice with an end goal of equipping young lawyers to create a positive social impact.
First, the course covers the key fundamentals of the social enterprise movement as well as substantive cutting-edge legal doctrine relevant to the sector. Using the “case study method” typically used in MBA classes, students will examine the challenges of starting, counseling, serving, assessing and funding social ventures through the eyes of the entrepreneur, investor, attorney, board member and community leader.
The course provides an overview of the emergence and definition of social entrepreneurship and will explore the intricacies of establishing mission / vision / values, legal structures for both non-profit and for-profit social ventures, managing and sustaining growth, board governance, the profit and purpose tension, impact investing and creating shared value. This basic knowledge set will inform any student who seeks to advise, launch, and /or serving on the board of a social enterprise. By engaging with these case studies, students also learn the basics of leadership and management decision-making.
Second, the course provides an intensive introduction to consulting for a social enterprise on a student consulting team. Students have an opportunity to put their newly-learned skills into practice as they are grouped into teams and are partnered up with a social enterprise to help them solve a specific, real-time challenge they are facing. In the past, the challenges have been in the areas growth, revenue, marketing, programmatic issues, scale and legal complexities.
This experiential learning will not only give the students an opportunity explore innovative social enterprises through project-based, work opening their eyes to the realities of operating a social enterprise, but will also improve their skills in problem solving and client services.
During the Spring semester students will work on the written memo with their student consulting team. The Spring Term will culminate with the completion of the written report and a final presentation.