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Thompson, Dana A.

Clinical Professor of Law
Entrepreneurship Clinic

3128 South Hall
734.615.6957
E-mail drthomp@umich.edu

Prof. Dana A. Thompson, '99, is a clinical professor of law and the founding director of Michigan Law's Entrepreneurship Clinic, where she represents University of Michigan student-led startup ventures. Prior to the Entrepreneurship Clinic, she taught in the Law School's Urban Communities Clinic, where she represented small businesses, startup ventures, and community-based organizations, primarily in Detroit. Before joining Michigan Law, Prof. Thompson taught at Wayne State University Law School and founded and directed Wayne Law's Small Business Enterprises and Nonprofit Corporations Clinic. At Wayne Law, she was also the director of the Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African-American Legal History. Her article, "Accelerating the Growth of the Next Generation of Innovators," discusses the importance of campus incubators collaborating with law school clinics and was published in the Ohio State Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal in 2013. Another article, "L3Cs: An Innovative Choice for Urban Entrepreneurship and Urban Revitalization," also was published in 2013 in the American University Business Law Review. The article explores the role that low-profit limited liability companies, also known as L3Cs, could play in establishing viable minority-owned urban small businesses. Prof. Thompson also writes on small business legal issues in the Small Biz and the Law blog for Crain's Detroit Business. She is a contributing author to Building Healthy Communities: A Guide to Community Economic Development for Advocates, Lawyers, and Policymakers, published by the American Bar Association's Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. Prior to entering academia, Prof. Thompson practiced at Morrison and Foerster, LLP in San Francisco, then at Miller, Starr and Regalia, where she specialized in commercial real estate and corporate law. She then joined the Nature Conservancy as regional counsel, where she represented the organization on land conservation transactions. Prof. Thompson sits on the board of directors of Michigan Community Resources and was elected to serve on the Wayne State University Board of Governors in November 2014. She is the immediate past chair of the Community Economic Development Committee of the ABA's Business Law Section and is a past co-chair of the Legal Educator's Committee of the ABA's Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. She also is the immediate past co-chair of the Association of American Law School's Clinical Law Section's Awards Committee. In addition, she served on former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's emerging Small Business Leaders and Entrepreneurial Council. Prof. Thompson received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was editor of the Michigan Law Review, and her AB from Bryn Mawr College.

Recent Publications

More Publications...


"Unpaid Interns Now Could Impact Your Wallet Later." Crain's Blog, July 11, 2014.
Full Text: WWW

"Accelerating the Growth of the Next Generation of Innovators." Ohio St. Entrepreneurial Bus. L. J. 8, no. 2 (2013): 379-91.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw | WWW

"L3Cs:  An Innovative Choice for Urban Entrepreneurs and Urban Revitalization." Am. U. Bus. L. Rev. 2, no. 1 (2012): 115.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw | WWW

"The Role of Nonprofits in CED." In Building Healthy Communities: A Guide to Community Economic Development for Advocates, Lawyers, and Policymakers, edited by R.A. Clay Jr. and S. R. Jones, 57-82. Chicago: American Bar Association, 2009.
Professor

Activities

​Interviewed by Michael Rogers for the Michigan Business Network's Business Next podcast, June 2014. Listen to: Part I | Part II | Part III.

Spoke about student incubator/accelerator governance issues at the Ohio State Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal's symposium, "Incubators: Function and Future," Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, March 2013.

Presented "Connecting Small Business Owners with Resources: An Overview of Local Practices" at the "Developing Businesses and Leveraging Resources in Detroit" conference convened by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch, October 2012.

Presented "The Development of the L3C as an Entity Choice," 10th Annual Transactional Clinicians Conference, April 2011.

Presented "Choosing Your Legal Entity" to student entrepreneurs, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship, April 2011.

Panelist, "Michigan and the Road to a Jobs Economy: Which Way Forward," Issues in Diversity and Social Change Lecture Series, U-M Dearborn, March 2011.

Wrote an op-ed on the role of micro-businesses in rebuilding urban areas, Detroit News and Michigan Chronicle, February 2011.

Panelist, "How to Become a Law Professor," Wolverine Bar Association, February 2011.

 
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