Social Enterprise Law



2015 Spring

About This Class

This course examines legal structures that social and environmental enterprises currently use to accomplish their missions-nonprofit organizations, traditional for-profits, L3Cs, benefit corporations, cooperatives and other business forms that place "Planet" and "People" ahead of or on an equal footing with "Profit." The course contemplates the advantages and disadvantages of using these forms to accomplish these missions, how they should be adopted or modified, and whether society should devise other structures to further these missions. Students will examine these issues through the lens of four existing organizations-1) a for-profit, 2) a nonprofit, 3) a hybrid, and 4) a cooperative or employee owned organization. Students will be evaluated on their participation in the classroom and with the virtual tools such as wikis and discussion forums, as well as on a final White Paper that suggests ways public policy towards social and environmental enterprises should be improved.*PLEASE NOTE: This course will be a hybrid distance-learning/in person class. We will meet twice in person and virtually the rest of the semester, using the Blackboard (Lexis Nexis) platform. We will make active use of videoconferencing, wikis, blogs, and discussion forums. Vermont Law School students will join law, business and public policy students from other universities in the virtual part of this class, and they will be invited to meet the other students in person during a weekend meeting.

Class Code



Business Law