Students must submit an application to enroll in this clinic in the fall term prior to the enrollment lottery process.
As preparation for advising startup companies, students participate in a series of class sessions over the first half of the semester covering the topics most frequently encountered by startup businesses, including, pre-venture counseling, entity choice, formation documents, shareholder agreements, IP protection, etc. Then, students will receive first-hand experience in working with real startup companies under the supervision of the course instructor and supervisor. The students will take the lead role in working with the entrepreneurs, including conducting interviews, performing research, providing a legal plan for the business, identifying documents to be drafted and drafting documents. Please note that the clinic does NOT provide counsel on: litigation, patents, securities regulation, tax matters, public mergers or acquisitions, or international trade.
This course meets throughout the semester. During the first five weeks, two 90-minute sessions each week consist of a substantive overview of the areas of law and issues most frequently encountered in working with startup companies. In the five modules over the remaining eight weeks of the semester students will (i) meet client company and conduct interview to assess nature of business, (ii) assess legal issues and needs of client company and prepare summary of issues, (iii) meet with the client company to provide initial overview of legal issues associated with business and provide suggested course of action as to initial documents to be prepared, (iv) draft documents to meet initial client needs, and (v) meet with the client company to provide a final legal plan and draft documents.
Students spend considerable time outside of the classroom meeting with clients and the supervising attorney, and preparing drafts and final versions of legal documents.
Attendance Requirement: Students must attend all class sessions.
Prerequisite: Recommended courses include Emerging Growth Companies and Venture Capital Financing: Principles and Practice; Finance of Small Enterprises; J-Term: Legal Practice and the Startup Company: An Inside Look; and Introduction to Corporations.
Course Requirement: Each student must prepare a series of memoranda which may include a legal plan for each client and general legal research. Students also prepare corporate documents, maintain regular contact with clients and supervisors, keep time and prepare memoranda summarizing client work.