Through this first-of-its-kind clinic, law students collaborate with organizations (educational, nonprofit, for-profit) on a wide variety of matters rooted in humanitarian engineering and global health projects, and socially responsible business ventures. At its inception, the core mission of the Clinic was to support interdisciplinary teams brought together by Penn State’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program (HESE), to develop, design, and implement humanitarian projects in the "Global South." HESE strives to create “appropriate technology”-based solutions to compelling problems facing communities in developing countries. The Clinic has supported HESE’s efforts to implement these solutions and transform them into sustainable and scalable ventures for profit as well as capacity building, education, empowerment, and improving health.
The Clinic’s collaborations have required legal research and analysis, drafting opinion letters and transactional legal documents, direct client representation, negotiation, and even diplomacy – based on foreign, international, and domestic law. Past Clinic projects have involved legal issues in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Honduras, Brazil, and the United States. Under the direction of Professor Jeff Erickson, students will explore complex topics from across the legal spectrum in a multi-disciplinary setting. Participation in the clinic is a one-semester commitment. A second-semester advanced clinic experience is also available as approved by Professor Erickson.