Our Client

The CDFI clinic supports a local foundation in starting a community development bank in New Haven, acting as a consultant to the foundation and bank management on both legal and business matters. More broadly, this multidisciplinary clinic focuses on issues of financial access and financial inclusion as they relate to poverty alleviation and economic development. 

Through the course of the semester, students will work as legal, policy, and strategy advisors, as well as business consultants, to a host of clients, ranging from the local foundation mentioned above to the City of New Haven to local nonprofit organizations.

In spring 2008, students continued to assist the local foundation in starting the community development bank, helped forge solutions to mortgage foreclosure problems in New Haven, and worked with local banks to help immigrants gain access to financial services (including continued support of the Elm City Resident Card program). Additional opportunities were available to work on development projects related to international microfinance.

The First City Fund was formed as a result of an agreement between the City of New Haven and the New Haven Savings Bank, now NewAlliance Bank. The law clinic negotiated the agreement on behalf of the City of New Haven and served as legal counsel in the establishment of the Fund. The Fund is devoted to community and economic development in Greater New Haven’s underserved communities. 

Board members include leaders representing a variety of New Haven constituencies, including local communities, business, labor, congregations, and local government.

One committee of the board serves as the Organizing Group of the bank and is the primary recipient of the clinic’s services.