The Role and Impact of Clinical Programs on Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth

27 Pages Posted: 30 May 2011 Last revised: 24 Apr 2012

Date Written: August 26, 2011


As the U.S. economy evolves from giant corporate domestic job creators, to one where innovative small and microenterprises contribute to economic growth and create a majority of U.S. jobs, the role and impact of law clinical programs supporting these enterprises will continue to grow. This chapter specifically focuses on the current and evolving role of law clinical programs in the United States of America and their impact on entrepreneurship and economic growth. We review clinical law programs as they have evolved from the traditional programs of the early 1900s to community economic development programs of the 1980s to the current variety of entrepreneurship and transactional programs that directly impact entrepreneurship and economic growth. For purposes of this chapter, we include entrepreneurship/transactional law clinical programs – i.e. entrepreneurship, small business, transactional, community economic development, intellectual property law, housing and tax (transactional). We provide insights from the current empirical data retrieved from law school websites, brochures, newsletters, list-serves and personal contacts for the period ending June 2011.

The information details the level of law school capacity, numbers of programs, state geographic distribution, and the states with the greatest number of clinical law programs that serve entrepreneurs, small business and nonprofits, as well as their potential for expansion.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, economic growth, clinical programs, transactional entrepreneurial law clinical programs, legal services, historical foundation

Suggested Citation

Lee, Patricia Hureston, The Role and Impact of Clinical Programs on Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth (August 26, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Patricia Hureston Lee (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago Law School ( email )

25 East Pearson Street
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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