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Small Business Legal Clinic executive director honored for work in the business sector and the community

April 04, 2011

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Maggie Finnerty, executive director of the Lewis & Clark Small Business Legal Clinic and clinical law professor, has been recognized by the Portland Business Journal as an outstanding woman in the business sector. Finnerty is among 25 women in Portland who will be honored at the journal’s Orchid Awards on April 7.

The Orchid Awards are given to women based on their business accomplishments, recognition by others, community involvement, and the selection committee’s sense of the nominee’s influence in the business and civic communities.

Finnerty joined the law school in 2006 to help launch the Small Business Legal Clinic, which provides business transactional legal advice to new and emerging businesses. The small businesses are primarily owned by women, minorities, and recent immigrants, and more than a third of the clinic’s clients live in distressed areas, as defined by the Oregon Business Development Department.

“I am honored to be included in this list of fantastic women in Portland’s business community,” Finnerty said. “I am incredibly fortunate that my work serves the community in such a meaningful way, and I am so thankful that Lewis & Clark Law School had the foresight and vision to create the SBLC.”

Finnerty has built a reputation in Portland for her efforts to support the small business sector. She is the previous recipient of one of the Portland Business Journal’s prestigious “Forty Under 40” Awards, and last year she received the Small Business Administration’s Women in Business Champion of the Year Award for Oregon, and for the Northwest Region. She is quick to point out, however, that the clinic’s success is not hers alone.

“I am so thankful for our sponsors and for the hundreds of pro bono attorneys who volunteer for the clinic,” Finnerty said. “The Small Business Legal Clinic truly is a public-private partnership, and without their help, we could not accomplish half of what we are doing together.” 

Finnerty began her career in the financial services industry in Boston. After graduating from the University of Oregon School of Law, Finnerty practiced law in the Corporate, Securities and Finance Group at Stoel Rives LLP, concentrating on mergers and acquisitions, securities reporting and compliance, financing transactions, and general corporate law. Finnerty then joined a start-up company specializing in alternative investment strategies, as vice president for business development.  During that time, she was asked to develop and teach a business law survey course for Portland State University’s MBA program.

Learn more about Maggie Finnerty and the Small Business Legal Clinic in this video and this podcast interview.

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