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Small Business Legal Clinic awarded Murdock grant

April 03, 2008

(Portland, Ore.)—The Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC) has been awarded a $224,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to fund a new executive director position, allowing the SBLC to increase the number of clients it serves. Murdock Charitable Trust’s gift adds to the SBLC’s impressive network of partners and supporters from the public and private sector—a core strength and unique attribute of the clinic.

The SBLC’s mission is to provide low- or no-cost business transactional legal assistance to small and emerging businesses, primarily those owned by women, minorities, and recent immigrants.
Since its inception in October 2006, the SBLC has served approximately 136 clients, 72 percent of which were minority- or women-owned businesses, on more than 274 legal matters. Thanks to the Murdock grant, that number will grow significantly.

“This grant is critical to our mission to build capacity,” said Associate Dean and Director of Business Law Programs Lisa LeSage. “It will allow us to recruit additional pro bono attorneys, expand outreach resources, and engage more clinical interns, thus increasing the number of small businesses we serve.”

Maggie Finnerty, who has been the SBLC’s sole clinical professor since its launch, was recently promoted to the new executive director position. The SBLC will now be able to hire a new clinical law professor, who will focus on working with student-interns enrolled in the course.  While Finnerty will continue to work with a few student-interns, as executive director she will be able to perform even more community outreach to entities focused on serving the needs of women- and minority-entrepreneurs, such as small business development centers and other business incubators, as well as law firms and bar associations in the Portland area.

Read a profile of SBLC in the Lewis & Clark Chronicle.

For more information:

Jodi Heintz
Public Relations Director
503-768-7961
jodih@lclark.edu