Summer Pop-up Legal Project pairs Wake Forest, UNC law students with non-profits

Graphic image featuring the words ERDOS Intellectual Property Law Startup LegalThe partners at Winston-Salem’s Erdos IP Law saw two problems. First, many nonprofits have legal needs but cannot afford the current market rate for legal services. Second, fewer law firms are hiring and paying law students during the summer.

That’s where the Pop-up Legal Project, the brainchild of Raina Haque and Jon Mayhugh (JD ’16), comes in as the solution by matching non-profit legal needs while at the same time providing essential legal experiential education for law students.

The Summer Pop-Up Legal Project is currently accepting a limited number of non-profit organizations to help this summer. An application is available on the Erdos website.

After successfully piloting a version of the project in the summer of 2016 for an social justice-related edtech startup, Haque decided to offer a similar service for nonprofits in the summer of 2017.

The Summer Pop-up Legal Project service is limited to selected organizations who have 501(c)(3) designation (the IRS code for non-profit organizations) and have transactional legal needs that are suitable for completion within the next couple of months, Haque added.

“We’ve come up with a solution where law student associates work under the guidance of our attorneys to help non-profit organizations during the summer at rates that are much lower than market rate for legal services.  Our summer associates are enrolled at Wake Forest Law or the University of North Carolina School of Law.  The legal service rates are priced and capped per project, and the projects are ones that can be concluded by the time the fall academic semester comes around.  It’s a pop-up law group both because of its limited duration and because its particular composition of summer associates is unprecedented.”

Both Haque and Mayhugh are adjunct professors at Wake Forest Law, where they prepare students to be attorney-technologists — students in their course will learn about implementing and critically analyzing cutting-edge legal technologies and meet Lawyer-CEOs of several leading legal tech companies.

“For the Summer Pop-up Project, our attorneys decide which transactional law-related projects would be appropriate for the law students to support this summer, and help identify the issues in the cases for which students will perform work,” Haque says.  ”We cap how much the client will be billed since these experiences will be used build the students’ legal practice experiences and skill sets.  We review all student work and are engaged with the students to help guide and educate them throughout the project.”