By Prof. Phil Broadhead
On April 22, 2016, the UM Law Transactional Clinic made a presentation at a regional continuing legal education seminar hosted by the Business Law Network and Regions Bank in Memphis, Tennessee. Community outreach is a vital portion of the Transactional Clinic, and it sent third-year law students Jessica Rice and Elizabeth Robinson to the Business Law Network’s 2016 Spring Conference to make a presentation on the “fine line” between simple advocacy and formal legislative lobbying in the context of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Cameron Abel, one of the clinic’s supervising attorneys, began the Clinic’s address to the group by speaking of the Clinic’s mission and its services to non-profit organizations and small LLC businesses. Rice and Robinson, two advanced students in the Clinic, then explained how the IRS defines “lobbying,” the restrictions the law places upon non-profit organizations in formal lobbying, and the provision for penalties if the restrictions are exceeded. The students closed the presentation with the general advice the Clinic gives to all of their non-profit clients.
Jessica Rice said, “The opportunity to present at these CLE’s has been an invaluable one. Presenting really makes you know the information, I have learned so much more about non-profits and public speaking [through participating in the Clinic] than I expected.”
Andrew Carter, Marilyn Rozier, Natalie Mann, and Heather McElwee
This was the second time the Clinic participated at a conference hosted by the Business Law Network, who said it hopes to make their partnership with Regions Bank in these events a permanent opportunity to educate the public on topics of interest and value to their businesses.