Clinical Programs - Securities Law Clinic

Securities Law Clinic

Working primarily through arbitration at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Law Clinic provides legal services to small investors in upstate New York who have been the victims of investment fraud. Each Clinic student works on at least one "live client" case. Under the supervision of Professor William A. Jacobson, the student conducts a thorough evaluation of potential cases, including client interviews and investigation of investments and financial advisers. He or she then researches potential theories of recovery, drafts statements of claim, conducts discovery, and handles all aspects of a hearing, including direct and cross-examination of witnesses.

Each student also works on at least one non-client matter. Students have the opportunity to research and write on legal topics of importance to investors, including regulatory comment letters, amicus briefs and research articles. Additionally, SLC students conduct seminars and provide educational materials to senior citizens groups and others on how to avoid falling victim to investment fraud.

The SLC is available for up to three semesters. The first semester covers areas of law important to smaller investors, focusing on FINRA conduct and arbitration rules, and includes the "live client" and non-client projects described above. The optional second and third semesters are open to a small number of students to provide an opportunity for continuing work on cases started in the first semester.

"The SLC was the highlight of my time at Cornell. I was able to learn and develop important practical skills, such as witness preparation and developing the global strategy of a complex securities case, which have proven to be very helpful throughout my first year of practice. Moreover, the SLC afforded me the incredible opportunity to brief and argue an appeal, an experience I will never forget."
-- Seth Nadler '10, Associate, WilmerHale LLP

"[We] would like to express our sincere thanks for all the hard work both yourself and the students put into our case. Your dedication and hard work has brought this stressful situation to an end. We understand the amount of work and research put into our case by the students and yourself in addition to the studies the students must complete each day…. [We] were not sure where to turn, however, your expertise and the knowledge of the students was of great value."
--From a client of the Cornell Securities Law Clinic

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