Representing Social Enterprise

52 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2013 Last revised: 19 Nov 2013

Date Written: February 11, 2013


This article explores the representation 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 business techniques — in the Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. The choice to represent social enterprise clients facilitates a curriculum that explicitly focuses on the business models, governance tools, and legal mechanisms that these organizations use to accomplish sustainability and charitable objectives. By serving social enterprise clients, clinic students learn to solve novel and unstructured problems and engage in information sharing and knowledge creation essential to legal advocacy. Legal issues unique to social enterprises compel clinic students to question corporate law and its underlying normative values and employ transactional lawyering for public interest purposes.

Keywords: social enterprise, sustainability, corporate sustainability, clinical legal education, transactional law clinic, clinical pedagogy

Suggested Citation

Plerhoples, Alicia, Representing Social Enterprise (February 11, 2013). Clinical Law Review, Vol. 20, pp. 215-265, 2013; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 13-008; NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 29/2013. Available at SSRN: or

Alicia Plerhoples (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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