Investor Advocacy Clinic
About the Investor Advocacy Clinic
The Investor Advocacy Clinic exposes second- and third-year law students to financial litigation under the supervision of a licensed attorney. In addition to gaining securities and financial products litigation experience, students learn about the regulatory organizations governing financial institutions and serve as important community resources by educating investors. Although the caseload varies each semester, students gain substantial experience by drafting arbitration and mediation materials and mediating, settling, arbitrating, or litigating cases. Students also may conduct research and draft comment letters to analyze proposed rules and regulations or make community presentations about investor and financial protection topics.
The Investor Advocacy Clinic serves an unmet need by providing counsel for investors. In addition to advising investors about their options, the clinic represents investors in investment disputes and seeks to help them recover damages through litigation, mediation, arbitration, and settlement negotiation. The Investor Advocacy Clinic selects cases carefully by considering the investor’s need for pro bono counsel, the chance of a successful outcome, and the clinic’s current caseload, and with an eye to the pedagogical value to the students.
Investor Education and Outreach
The Investor Advocacy Clinic was founded with a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. As part of its mission, the clinic also provides investor education about securities, investing, and investment fraud, with particular attention to investment schemes targeting vulnerable populations. Students gain public speaking experience by appearing at community events to provide unbiased information about various investment products. These presentations are designed to help reduce community members’ risk of falling prey to investment fraud.
Investor Advocacy Clinic seminars, held biweekly, take two forms: topical and case rounds. Topical sessions focus on substantive law, procedure, policy, or lawyering issues and generally will involve discussion of assigned reading or in-class exercises to highlight a particular issue. Case rounds provide an opportunity to respond to legal, ethical, or policy issues arising in case work.
Admission to the Investor Advocacy Clinic is by application only. Investor Advocacy Clinic I is the introductory course. Investor Advocacy Clinic II is a second-semester course for students who have completed Investor Advocacy Clinic I and is by invitation only.