A Celebration of Carolina Law’s Service to the State

April 19, 2022

Highlighting the work of the Institute for Innovation

On Wednesday, April 6th, students, faculty, staff, alumni, campus leaders and entrepreneurship partners gathered at Graham Memorial to celebrate UNC School of Law’s service to the state through its Institute for Innovation.

Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law and North Carolina House Minority Leader Robert T. Reives, II ’95 opened the event by talking about the reach and impact of the work of the three clinics housed in the Institute for Innovation: Community Development Law Clinic, Startup NC Law Clinic, and the Intellectual Property Clinic.

Professor Tom Kelley, director of the Institute and the Community Development Law Clinic, discussed his clinic’s work with B3 Coffee and how they are providing community-integrated social and vocational opportunities for people of all abilities by using coffee to bring people together to dismantle stigma and influence change toward a more inclusive equitable world. 

Professor Marjorie White, director of the Startup NC Law Clinic also discussed her clinic’s work with Chicora Engineering, a Native American owned and operated civil engineering firm based in Pembroke, N.C. She also explained the need for more rural partnerships like the one Carolina Law has with Tom Hall, executive director of the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Taylor Belknap 3L and Lauren Davis ’21 closed out the event speaking about their experiences working in the clinics and how practicing what they learned in the classroom helped them understand the impact of what they could do as lawyers.

Watch a short video showing how the Institute for Innovation is training lawyers, supporting and protecting the dreams of entrepreneurs and strengthening economies across the state.