Food and Beverage Law Clinic

Students in the Food and Beverage Law Clinic will provide transactional legal services to small- and medium-sized farmers implementing innovative and sustainable farming practices, mission-oriented food entrepreneurs, and food justice non-profit organizations. Students will complete projects in areas of critical need including access to land, access to capital, farm ownership succession and estate planning, eligibility for federal and state programs and benefits, and compliance with federal, state, and local regulatory law (including food safety law, labeling requirements, labor law, and zoning). Through their client work students will develop fundamental transactional legal skills including contract drafting, entity and deal structuring, negotiation, legal research and analysis, creative problem solving, and counseling.

The weekly seminar component of the Clinic will teach the substantive law and legal practice skills that will be most useful to students during the semester. In addition, the seminar will provide an opportunity to discuss the role of law and lawyers in food systems and the practical, ethical and policy-based issues that arise in the context of lawyering on behalf of mission-oriented individuals and organizations.

Permission of the professor, based upon application and interview, is required. Prerequisites: Professional Responsibility plus one regulatory course (Environmental Skills, Environmental Survey, Administrative Law, or Food Law) and one transactional course (Corporations, Drafting Legal Documents, Business Planning, Environmental Commercial Transactions, or Real Estate Transactions). The regulatory or transactional course requirement may be waived or taken concurrently in exceptional circumstances. The clinic is open to students in their second, third, or fourth year of law school.