Kimberly A. Vu-Dinh, an assistant professor at the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and the director of the law school’s Business Innovations Legal Clinic, was recently named a finalist for Little Rock Regional Minority Mentor of the Year.
Professor Vu-Dinh was recognized by the Little Rock Regional Chamber during Minority Enterprise Development Week.
“I’m honored to have been a finalist,” Vu-Dinh said. “The creativity and spirit of Little Rock’s entrepreneurs are constant inspirations to me and my students.”
The Business Innovations Legal Clinic provides high-quality, free transactional legal counsel to small businesses and non-profits working in economic development, many of which would not be able to obtain legal assistance otherwise.
Law students under Vu-Dinh’s supervision work closely with start-up businesses throughout Arkansas, either one-on-one, or through community legal workshops. Their clients are based in Arkansas and are from the following sectors: food and farm, affordable housing, health, music and arts, and more. The majority of the clinic’s clients are minority-owned businesses.
This past year, Vu-Dinh was appointed as a Fulbright Specialist to the University of Applied Sciences in Ferizaj, Kosovo, where she provided consulting services to create an academic social enterprise that incubates local business while simultaneously giving students hands-on learning opportunities, and generating income for the newly-created academic institution.
Before teaching full-time, Vu-Dinh worked extensively in post-Katrina New Orleans with nonprofits and small, local businesses developing affordable housing and community-based commercial projects, first as non-profit staff, and later as a consultant through her firm Community Capacity Consulting. In addition to her work on Bowen’s faculty, she is adjunct faculty at the Clinton School of Public Service where she teaches social enterprises in the Master’s Degree, and at Tulane University’s Sustainable Real Estate Development Program where she sometimes teaches real estate finance in the summers.
Before arriving at Bowen, Vu-Dinh was a Eugene Ludwig/Robert M. Cover Fellow in Law in the Community and Economic Development Clinic at Yale Law School.
Minority Enterprise Development Week and the successes of regional minority-owned businesses are celebrated each September by the Little Rock Regional Chamber.