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MSU College of Law

June 5, 2013

CONTACT: Kent Love, director of communications, 517-432-6959;

New Initiative at Michigan State Law Offers Free Legal Representation to Small Investors

East Lansing, MI—Citing the need for legal services for individual investors, Michigan State University College of Law has launched a new clinic focused on the interests of investors who may not be able to obtain legal representation due to the small amounts of their claims. The Investor Advocacy Clinic will counsel and represent investors on a pro bono basis while teaching law students about securities regulation and litigation.

“The new clinic serves an unmet need by providing counsel to investors with claims that are too small for the private bar to take,” said Benjamin P. Edwards, adjunct professor of law at MSU Law and the new clinic’s director.  The clinic model allows students to represent investors and gain practical experience while still in law school. “Often, investors need someone to help them understand the law and whether they have a claim against their broker,” said Edwards. “If we do not think the investor has a claim after thoroughly reviewing their losses and portfolio, we will advise them not to seek damages. If we think they have a claim, we may be able to represent them or help them find the right counsel for the case.”

The Investor Advocacy Clinic selects cases carefully by considering the investor’s need for pro bono counsel, the chance of a successful outcome, the clinic’s current caseload, and the pedagogical value to the students. Investors who think they may have been defrauded or who have a dispute with their stock broker should contact the Investor Advocacy Clinic for a free consultation.

In addition to representing small investors, the Investor Advocacy Clinic also focuses on public investor education. “We hope to equip community members with information that they can use to evaluate brokers and investment advice,” said Edwards.  “You should never trust anyone that promises you high returns without any risk,” Edwards explained.

Organizations that would like representatives from the Investor Advocacy Clinic to make a presentation about investor protection basics should contact the Clinic at (517) 336-8088.

The new clinic was launched with an initial grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, which aims to provide underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life.

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