In the wake of the recent financial crisis, interest in social enterprise has increased exponentially. Over the last four years, 18 states have passed statutes allowing the formation of various companies and corporations fitting under this category. While the population of these entities is growing, the existence of these business formations is hotly-debated within the corporate law community.
Recognizing the timeliness of this issue, Regent University's Law Review chose social enterprise as the topic for its 2012 symposium. Held on Saturday, Oct. 6, the Law Review (housed in the School of Law) played host to students and attorneys interested in exploring the developing issues related to social enterprise entities.
"The 2012 symposium was particularly valuable to law students and attorneys because its topic was unlike those that we've explored in past symposia, yet it was compatible with Regent's mission that the practice of law is a calling," explained third-year law student and one of the symposium's organizers, Rachel Bauer. "We recognized that it is edifying and valuable for law schools to debate, discuss and explore new areas of law to help prepare current students while also informing the legal community."
The symposium included panels of distinguished academics presenting papers on the benefits, disadvantages and implications of social enterprise entities, as well as an afternoon workshop where legal practitioners and business owners shared their experiences working in the field of social enterprise.
"We were pleased to have panelists that offered a range of perspectives on the topic of social enterprise, an issue that remains debated and controversial," Bauer added.
The symposium concluded with a banquet featuring keynote speaker Michael Pirron, the founder and CEO of Impact Makers, one of the largest certified B corporations in Virginia. "This [topic] is vital to students because this is an area of growth in the business sector internationally," Pirron explained.
B corporations are certified to meet rigorous standards of
social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Established in 1991, the Law Review is published by the School of Law. Since its beginning, student editors and staff members, chosen on the basis of academic achievement and writing ability, have gained valuable experience by writing and editing the Law Review under the guidance of the law faculty.