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MSU College of Law



February 3, 2012

CONTACT: Kent Love

MSU Law Professor Dandridge Receives Grant to Research Barriers to Economic Development

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law Associate Professor Nicole Dandridge, director of the Law College’s Small Business and Nonprofit Law (SBNL) Clinic, recently received a $25,000 Michigan Applied Public Policy Research grant to identify legal and government barriers to entrepreneurial activity and job creation in the state. Dandridge and SBNL Clinic students will conduct the study, with a focus on restrictions that interrupt the economic environment of Detroit and hinder Michigan’s ability to be more “business friendly.”

The project is a multi-dimensional alliance between the academic, practitioner, government, and nonprofit legal business service communities. Student clinicians, faculty, staff, and project partners will review major city and state regulations that impact small businesses to determine whether they achieve a legitimate government objective without unduly burdening business activity.

Study participants will visit small business owners from a broad range of occupations to conduct a survey and investigate the regulations firsthand. Students enrolled in the SBNL Clinic during the spring and fall 2012 semesters will engage in community economic development research, legislative and regulatory policy initiatives, and academic and community collaborations with small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Michigan. The data collected through the project will be analyzed and presented to the newly elected 2013 Michigan Legislature and local lawmakers to inform them of regulatory hurdles and offer relevant reformation dialogue on making Detroit—the state’s urban core and most populous city—more “business friendly.”

The MSU College of Social Science Institute for Public Policy and Social Research awarded the grants to research projects aimed at informing state and local lawmakers on various public policy issues.

The MSU Law Small Business & Nonprofit Clinic enhances law students’ professional development through experiential learning in the specialized transactional areas of business and nonprofit law. The clinic trains confident and competent legal professionals to assist underserved Michigan small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Student clinicians facilitate entrepreneurial empowerment by engaging in community economic development and outreach initiatives that provide timely, quality, legally relevant information. The clinic also creates community and campus partnerships to expand resources available to Michigan small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.

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