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Students in Community Law Clinic Help Bring French Pharmaceutical Research Business to Newark

January 31, 2013 – 

Supporting community development efforts that expand the employment opportunities and services available in inner cities is a key objective of the Rutgers School of Law–Newark Community Law Clinic (CLC). Since its founding in 1997, the CLC has provided legal services and counsel to hundreds of businesses and non-profits that are helping to revitalize Newark and other nearby cities.

Biotrial and CLC
Shown at the real estate closing held in the Rutgers–Newark Chancellor’s office are (l-r): Class of 2013 students Ifeanyi Enejere, Elina Kremen, and Eric Ashbahian, CLC Professor Robert Holmes, Biotrial international counsel Pierre Abitbol, and CLC Professor Charles Auffant.


Most recently, CLC students, under the guidance of clinic faculty, negotiated the Contract of Sale, the Closing, and the Right of Entry Agreement that were required for Biotrial S.A., a French pharmaceutical research company, to establish its North American headquarters on property in the University Heights area of Newark. The negotiations included the resolution of significant environmental and title issues. Throughout the process students interacted with international counsel for Biotrial and local counsel at Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, P.A. 

“The Community Law Clinic is pleased for a number of reasons to have had a role as counsel in this transaction,” said Professor Robert Holmes, Director of the Community Law Clinic. “It is gratifying to know that a matter of such importance and complexity would be entrusted to our clinic. Also, the legal work involved in the transaction supports the CLC’s mission precisely: to provide our students with practical corporate and transactional legal experience while contributing to the revitalization of the City of Newark through economic development and job growth. In this regard, the mission is part of a larger commitment by the broader clinical program, the law school and the University to be engaged in the health and well-being of the community of which the University is a part.”

Biotrial’s plans to develop the 1.2-acre University Heights Science Park property include a $30 million clinical research facility. A collaboration among the city’s public institutions of higher education (Rutgers, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Essex County College), and the City and community of Newark, University Heights Science Park aims to harness university research to advance urban and regional economic and community development.