This Article, part of a symposium entitled "Lawyering for a New Democracy," explores current issues related to the changing roles of public interest lawyers engaged in Community Economic Development (CED) in a new democracy. After discussing current issues and trends in CED practice, the author concludes that CED is inherently privatized and is becoming more so with the national emphasis on economic self-sufficiency. The author provides lessons from law school clinical practice of enhanced strategic collaborations and highlights current trends and issues involving technology, leadership development, community organizing, asset accumulation, and social capital. Furthermore, leadership development and community organizing are based on a thorough understanding of the economic culture, social capital, and the relationships between assets and race. One particular program at the George Washington University Law School Small Business Clinic (GWUSBC) involved one of the clinic's clients, SiNGA, Inc., a nonprofit jobs-training program in the fashion industry. The author also describes how federally-funded programs, like the Community Renewal and New Markets Initiative of 2000, can be used to encourage private investment and economic development in communities. These federally-funded programs often include economic incentives such as tax credits. Given the opportunities in the new democracy, the author concludes that there is an enhanced role for CED activist lawyers to play in the social, political, and economic dimensions of community revitalization.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 303; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 303
Susan R. Jones, Current Issues in the Changing Roles and Practices of Community Economic Development Lawyers, 2002 Wis. L. Rev. 437 (2002).