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Partnering with Law Schools

2023 brought an expansion of the firm’s pro bono partnerships with law schools. Through these partnerships, Lowenstein helps prepare the next generation of lawyers to apply their skills to expand access to justice for historically underserved groups.

Please click on a tab below to learn more about the firm’s work with law schools.

  • Estate Planning and Heirs’
    Property Clinic
  • Law School Intellectual
    Property Partnerships
  • Law School Microbusiness and
    Emerging Markets Partnerships

Estate Planning and Heirs’ Property Clinic

In fall 2023, the firm’s Private Client Services practice launched Howard University School of Law’s new Estate Planning and Heirs’ Property Clinic. Students enrolled in the clinic draft wills, transfer-on- death land deeds, financial and health care powers of appointment, and other estate planning documents for lowincome clients; conduct research and community outreach to understand and ameliorate the racial gap in estate planning; work on title clearance and other heirs’ property matters; and prepare position statements and formulate strategies to promote legal rights associated with heirs’ property laws recently adopted in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

The clinic’s focus on heirs’ property issues is unique among U.S. law schools. Heirs’ property refers to property informally passed down to a group of descendants after a landowner dies without a will. This unstable form of land ownership by multiple owners over more than one generation leads to many problems, including unknown owners, decreased property value, and the risk of forced sale of the property for a depressed price by a single heir, regardless of the desires of other heirs. Heirs’ property disproportionately impacts Black property owners. The U.S Department of Agriculture estimates that heirs’ property has directly resulted in the loss of 4.7– 16 million acres of land formerly owned by African Americans over the past hundred years. The clinic seeks to help redress this problem.

The clinic also addresses racial disparities in estate planning. Research has shown that African Americans are roughly twice as likely not to have a will as non- Latino white Americans. As a result, Black families are less likely to benefit from inheritances and gifts, which perpetuates the racial wealth gap. The clinic responds to this problem by expanding estate planning services to communities of color and other underserved communities in the D.C. area.

Estate Planning
Signing ceremony with client of Estate Planning and Heirs’ Property Clinic

Law School Intellectual Property Partnerships

  • Patent lawyers in the firm’s Utah office partner with Brigham Young University’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic to supervise students who provide patent counsel to low-income inventors.
  • Patent lawyers in the firm’s Utah office also partner with the University of Utah School of Law to supervise students who provide patent counsel to low-income inventors from universities throughout the state who are developing medical innovations through the University of Utah’s Bench to Bedside program.
  • In early 2024, the firm will launch a new partnership with students participating in Notre Dame Law School’s Intellectual Property Externship to provide low-income clients with various types of intellectual property counsel, including help evaluating patent matters, conducting trademark clearance searches, filing applications for trademark and copyright protection, and drafting website terms of service and privacy policies.

These clinics help build wealth in under-resourced communities by ensuring that low-income inventors own the rights to their intellectual property.

Law School Microbusiness and Emerging Markets Partnerships

  • For more than a decade, Lowenstein attorneys have partnered with student members of NYU Law’s Social Enterprise and Startup Law Group to advise Rising Tide Capital’s microbusiness clients on their business legal needs. Each fall, Lowenstein attorneys train students on entity formation, contract drafting, intellectual property rights, and employment law. In the spring, the firm’s attorneys supervise law students as they advise Rising Tide Capital entrepreneurs on one or more legal needs. The popular program provides a meaningful way for transactional lawyers and law students to apply their legal skills to help create and support anchor businesses in under-resourced neighborhoods.
Student members of NYU Law’s Social Enterprise and Startup Law Group attend a training on business law hosted by Lowenstein transactional lawyers
  • Lawyers in the firm’s Emerging Companies & Venture Capital Group partner with students enrolled in the NYU Law International Transactions Clinic (NYU ITC) to provide legal services to a range of clients who seek to effect social change through innovative business models, products, and services. Through this partnership, we have assisted an impact investment fund in developing an investment structure that allows its customers to share in the upside of investments and a social enterprise that capitalizes and equips African entrepreneurs to launch and grow franchises that sell safe drinking water and other necessities at affordable prices. Our partnership with NYU ITC supports the development of the firm’s social impact practice while honing the skills of tomorrow’s social impact lawyers.
Photo Courtesy of Jibu, a client the firm represents in conjunction with the NYU International Transactions Clinic