Vanderbilt University in Nashville has announced a $2 million gift from alumnus Cal Turner, Jr. for a legal clinic that will provide legal support to entrepreneurs working on a shoestring budget.
Made possible by income from a previous endowment gift from Turner, the gift will establish the Turner Family Community Enterprise Clinic at Vanderbilt Law School. Once it's up and running, the clinic will provide law students with hands-on opportunities to assist individual entrepreneurs in the region with legal matters — assistance they otherwise might not be able to afford. Under the guidance of faculty mentors, students will receive course credit as they develop skills in a range of transactional matters, including entity formation, governance, tax policy, contracts, intellectual property issues, and risk management.
To be directed by Lauren Rogal, an assistant clinical professor of law, the clinic will extend the activities of the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions, which brings together students from Vanderbilt's divinity, education, law, management, medical, and nursing schools and helps them partner across the disciplines to address society's most challenging problems. Turner established the leadership program with a gift in 1994, and the endowed fund has grown considerably in the years since, making the establishment of the clinic possible.
"The Turner clinic sits at the intersection of law and business, reinforcing Vanderbilt's strengths in working across disciplines to achieve viable solutions," said Chris Guthrie, Vanderbilt Law School dean and John Wade–Kent Syverud Professor of Law. "This funding allows us to better support our students and faculty who provide this important legal representation to lower-income clients. We're deeply grateful for this new opportunity."