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Clinic Student Helps Form St. Louis Startup Nonprofit


3L Laura Beckering, pictured here at CIC@4240, worked with startup clients in her role as a student lawyer in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic.

It is no secret that St. Louis is in the midst of a renaissance of entrepreneurialism. With a thriving startup scene and supportive ecosystem, the St. Louis region is quickly becoming a hot spot for innovation. As a result, legal work in the ecosystem has become an interest of many incoming students. Saint Louis University School of Law has long recognized the benefits of learning transactional work though clinical experiences, especially young startup businesses.

The School of Law’s Entrepreneurship and Community Development (ECD) Clinic provides transactional representation to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, community groups and small businesses. Students in the clinic have the opportunity to work with clients on their nonprofit status, business planning and incorporation.

As a clinic student, graduating 3L Laura Beckering worked mostly with small nonprofit clients where she reviewed contracts and leases and helped obtain 501c3 tax-exempt status.

“The Clinic allows law students to enhance their communication skills with everyday people,” said Beckering. “In the classroom, I know I could get caught up in the ‘legalese’ language of the law, but Clinic challenged me to be able to translate complex legal topics into things that my clients could understand and to take the law and discern the practical effects it would have for my clients.”

One of those clients was St. Louis Startup Ambassadors, a small, volunteer-led organization that aims to connect young companies with the city of St. Louis.

“As I began working with St. Louis Startup Ambassadors and learning more about their goals, I realized their mission is something that is both unique and important for the city of St. Louis,” said Beckering. “The group strives to help make connections between startups that are here in St. Louis through different workshops and social events so that the people involved can form ties and roots in the community. I think this is such a great concept.”

Upon graduation Beckering plans to join Greensfelder in the business services practice group and will continue to volunteer on the board of St. Louis Startup Ambassadors.

To see more of Laura Beckering and her work with St. Louis startups, visit SLU LAW's Instagram.

Find out more about the ECD Clinic and other clinical offerings.