The International Transactions Clinic is the first of its kind. It is a training ground for highly qualified lawyers who graduate already experienced at representing their clients' interests in an increasingly globalized and complex world.
About the International Transactions Clinic
Like other clinics, the International Transactions Clinic provides real-world experience for students working on real matters for real clients. What makes this clinic unique is that it brings an international focus to transactions work.
The clinic has a diverse range of clients. What they hold in common is an international focus and a willingness to tackle some of the world's most pressing challenges—like poverty, adequate housing, environmental degradation, and climate change.
We concentrate on teaching students skills that are critically important to their professional development as they enter into practice areas that involve international transactions.
Under the supervision of faculty members who are practicing attorneys in California, Michigan, New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., students learn drafting and negotiation skills as applied to cross-border transactions, analyze ethical issues that can arise in international business, build skills at structuring and documenting investments in enterprises that primarily work in emerging markets, and deepen their understanding of international economic and financial policy. They also learn how to give legal advice and support to clients that work in challenging business and legal environments
Who We Are
Timothy L. Dickinson
- Professor from Practice
- Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
- International Transactions Clinic
Information for Students
Why did the University of Michigan Law School start the International Transactions Clinic?
The International Transactions Clinic was launched in the Fall of 2008. It is the first of its kind in the United States. The clinic aims to be a training ground for highly qualified lawyers who graduate already experienced at representing their clients' interests in an increasingly globalized and complex world. The clinic does good by doing deals.
Who are your clients?
We have a diverse range of clients. They include for-profit and not-for-profit entities. They include start-up enterprises and well-established businesses. They include impact investors and social enterprises. Some clients are based here in Ann Arbor; others are based as far away as the United Kingdom, Tajikistan and Bangladesh.
What our clients all hold in common, however, is an international focus and a willingness to tackle world challenges like poverty, education, housing, environmental degradation, and climate change. Many of our clients work at the base of the economic pyramid in emerging markets and provide services and products to billions of people in the world living on $2 a day or less. Other clients make international investments that are expected to generate positive developmental, environmental or other social returns as well as financial returns.
Our clients include:
- ACDI VOCA
- Aureos Capital Limited
- Blue Sky Projects LLC
- Calvert Foundation
- Concero Connect
- Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
- Design Innovations for Infants and Mothers Everywhere (DIIME)
- Doctors United for Haiti (DUFH)
- Farm Shop Trust
- FINCA International
- Global Partnerships
- Grameen Foundation
- Grassroots Business Fund
- Gray Ghost
- Habitat for Humanity International
- HoneyCare Africa
- Humo Micro Lending Fund
- International Association of Microfinance Investors (IAMFI)
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- Lumana Association
- MCM Group International
- MFX Solutions
- MicroEnergy Credits Corporation (MEC)
- Movirtu Limited
- PACT World
- Peace Dividend
- Pilus Energy
- Planet Rating
- Root Capital
- Russian Microfinance Center (RMC)
- Tides Foundation
- Unitus Impact
- Village Capital
Where does the clinic work?
By making use of technology, we operate globally although the clinic physically is based in Ann Arbor. Our clients have offices around the world. These clients are conducting, with support of the clinic, projects and transactions in places like China, Ghana, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, and Tanzania (to name a few).
How does the clinic organize its work?
Students participating in the clinic generally work in teams of two students under the close supervision of faculty members who are practicing attorneys in California, Michigan, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Students must participate in the clinic for two semesters so that they can gain exposure to a range of international transactions and clients. Students typically will work on two to three transaction matters at a time.
What skills will students learn by participating?
The clinic gives students an opportunity to exercise and expand skills that are critically important to their professional development as they enter into practice areas that involve international transactions. Students will learn drafting and negotiating skills necessary for conducting cross-border transactions, analyze ethical issues that can arise in international business, build skills at structuring and documenting investments in enterprises that primarily work in emerging markets, and deepen their understanding of international economic and financial policy. Students also will learn how to provide legal support and advice to clients that work in challenging business and legal environments.
How big of a time commitment is the International Transactions Clinic?
The clinic is a two semester-long course.
Students participating should expect to work on transaction matters for an average of 12-16 hours per week, in addition to classroom time. Some weeks will be much shorter due to matters outside of the students' control; other weeks, however, may be much longer for the very same reason. This is another reason why transaction matters are assigned to teams of students to help share workloads.
During the first six weeks of the Fall term, students meet twice a week in a seminar-like setting to build the requisite foundational knowledge for serving clients.
What is the grade and credit allocation of the clinic?
The clinic is mandatory pass/fail for the Fall term and graded during the Winter term. Each term of the clinic will be allocated four (4) credits, for a total of eight (8) credits for the academic year.
Are there course prerequisites?
There are no course prerequisites.
Does participation fulfill the "Professional Responsibility" course requirement?
No, although the clinic focuses, among other things, on the professional responsibilities expected of lawyers.