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Course Information

Social Enterprise in Theory and Practice

This course explores the legal and philosophical origins of social enterprise, mission-based business structures, legal mechanisms for social investment, and methods of measuring impact and preserving mission as businesses expand. It covers (1) new business entities that have arisen in the past few decades (e.g. benefit corporations, low-profit limited liability companies, and social purpose corporations); (2) older structures designed around social goals (e.g. worker cooperatives and nonprofit structures); and (3) governance techniques to incorporate social responsibility into conventional businesses. Students also explore ethical issues that arise when attorneys represent social enterprises. This course is an experiential learning course; students draft governing and financing instruments, simulate a client counseling session on entity options for social enterprises, and present proposals for legal reforms. Enrollment limited. [3 credits]

Note: Limited Enrollment Course. Prerequisite of LAW 7114 (Corporations) or LAW 7116 (Corporations & Business Entities).