Turner funding yields VU law school clinic

Vanderbilt University

Aug 23, 2017

The Vanderbilt University Law School has announced it will use $2 million provided by a fund started by alumnus and philanthropist Cal Turner Jr. to provide legal support to entrepreneurs on limited budgets.

The funding results from the growth of a 1994-established endowed gift from Turner (B.A. degree in 1962) and that yielded the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions. It allows for the creation of the Turner Family Community Enterprise Clinic at the law school, according to a release.

The clinic will offer students hands-on opportunities to assist individuals with legal matters, such as applying for tax-exempt status and drafting lease agreements, when those individuals otherwise would not be able to afford representation.

Starting this fall, Lauren Rogal, VU assistant clinical professor of law, will direct the clinic.

“The Turner clinic sits at the intersection of law and business, reinforcing Vanderbilt’s strengths in working across disciplines to achieve viable solutions,” Chris Guthrie, dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud professor of law, said in the release. “This funding allows us to better support our students and faculty who provide this important legal representation to lower-income clients. We’re deeply grateful for this new opportunity.”

The clinic expands the impact of the aforementioned Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions. That entity brings together students from VU’s divinity, education, law, business management, medical and nursing schools. Spanning its 23 years, the endowed fund, according to the release, “has grown considerably through prudent management, allowing for the establishment of the clinic.”

Students in the Turner Family Community Enterprise Clinic, with faculty mentors, will receive course credit as they develop legal skills in various transactional matters, including entity formation, governance, tax, contracts, employment, intellectual property and risk management. The clinic also will expose students to opportunities that arise in an evolving legal environment, which is explored in the law school’s Program on Law and Innovation.

“I’m delighted to help establish this clinic at Vanderbilt Law School,” said Turner, chairman of the Cal Turner Family Foundation, emeritus member of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust and the ex-CEO and chairman on Dollar General. “By providing legal representation for low-income clients, the clinic will greatly support the Program for Moral Leadership’s goal of seeking solutions to complex social problems.”

Rogal recently joined the Vanderbilt Law School faculty after completing a two-year clinical teaching fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center.

Rogal both earned an LL.M. degree in advocacy and supervised students at Georgetown’s Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic. Prior to her fellowship, Rogal was an associate with Klamp & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that represents nonprofits and social enterprises.

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