The social enterprise materials contained in this section of the website are organized into three sections.
The first section contains materials appropriate for a legal clinic or practicum on social enterprise. Such a clinic or practicum could be conducted on a stand-alone basis or in conjunction with an entrepreneurship-focused legal clinic.
The second section contains materials appropriate for a traditional class or seminar that examines the legal aspects of social enterprise. Again, these materials could be used in a stand-alone course or in connection with a class on business organizations or nonprofit organizations.
The last section of the website contains a broad sampling of syllabi used for both clinic-oriented courses and traditional classroom-based courses concerning the legal aspects of social enterprise.
As noted in the introduction to this portion of the website, the nonprofit social enterprise sector has been recognized and studied for at least thirty years. The for-profit social enterprise sector, however, is very recent (2008) and is evolving rapidly. Essentially, the new, for-profit social enterprise legal forms are hybrids of traditional nonprofit and for-profit legal forms.
Therefore, in the opinion of this editor, any study of the law of social enterprise must start by appreciating the fundamental tax and legal aspects of the nonprofit form, followed by a basic understanding of the tax and legal aspects of traditional for-profit forms. Only after understanding the major characteristics of traditional nonprofit and for-profit legal forms can one begin to appreciate the significance and need (if any) for hybrid, for-profit social enterprise forms. For materials that are appropriate to the study of traditional nonprofit and for-profit legal forms, see the separate “For-Profit Transactions” and “Nonprofit Transactions” portions of this website.