It’s an adage among real estate lawyers that when preparing for a transaction, it’s best to “walk the property.” Examining the property firsthand opens the lawyer’s eyes to the property’s unique features and any potential challenges that may arise when carrying out the transaction.
Recently, a team of Community Development Clinic students from Case Western Reserve University School of Law had their own opportunity to “walk the property” for their client, Ingenuity Cleveland. Aimed at igniting a creative spark among artists, entrepreneurs and innovators, Ingenuity Cleveland operates the Hamilton Collaborative, an incubator where creators can network and share ideas, access tools and other resources and more. Many of the creators occupy “pods,” where they put their imaginations to work within their creative space, a more than century-old, previously vacant factory in Cleveland’s St. Clair-Superior neighborhood that serves as Ingenuity’s home.
Ingenuity Cleveland asked its clinic team from the CWRU School of Law to review and modify its template contract with individual creators. In walking through the space, the team used its legal training to determine that a license to access and use the space was a more appropriate fit for the contractual arrangement than a traditional lease and then reflected the unique physical layout of the Hamilton Collaborative in several of the license terms. This legal work will be critical to the long-term success of Ingenuity Cleveland at its year-round home in St. Clair-Superior where the organization nurtures makers, doers, and learners of all types.
The Community Development Clinic is one of ten Clinics under the umbrella of the Milton and Charlotte Kramer Law Clinic at CWRU School of Law. Under the supervision of Professor Matthew Rossman, students enrolled in the Community Development Clinic work directly with clients on legal issues facing local businesses. Every 3L student at CWRU School of Law must undertake an intensive Clinic or hands-on externship as part of their Capstone Requirement. preLaw magazine ranks CWRU the sixth best law school in the country for practical training.