I have been working on a new article about the pedagogical value to law students of representing social enterprise clients through experiential law courses. Although the primary audience for the article is academics, including corporate and clinical law professors, I hope that the article will be helpful to other lawyers as well. In that respect, the article includes a robust 10-page(!) description of various models of social enterprise as well as a discussion of the corporate legal theories that either facilitate or reject the shareholder wealth maximization norm.
Here’s the abstract and link:
Careful consideration and selection of clients facilitate the pedagogical objectives of a clinical law program or other experiential learning course. This article explores the selection of social enterprises—i.e., nonprofit and for-profit organizations whose managers strategically and purposefully work to create social, environmental, and economic value or achieve a social good through the use of business techniques—as clients of two experiential learning courses at Georgetown University Law Center. Representation of social enterprises helps create a dynamic curriculum through which law students learn to merge legal theory and practice. Through service to social enterprises, law students (i) learn about sustainable business models and mechanisms at a time when the corporate sector has increased its response to sustainability challenges; (ii) examine corporate legal theory that undermines social enterprise initiatives with an eye towards advocating for more favorable law and policy; and (iii) assist in advancing the social enterprise sector through knowledge creation and information facilitation. Legal issues unique to social enterprises compel students to learn about and reflect on corporate law in a novel manner not typically present in the non-experiential classroom. [Article available here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2214954]