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Friday, January 21, 2011

AALS Poster Project: Eric Gouvin's Entrepreneurship Education for Law Schools

Eric Gouvin presented the poster Entrepreneurship Education for Law Schools (Download Gouvin Poster):

Gouvin Poster(1)

Professor Gouvin is a professor and the Director of the Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship at the Western New England College School of Law, where he teaches classes such as Business Organizations, Contracts, Secured Transactions, and Regulation of Financial Services. He has published such works as:

-Teaching Business Lawyering in Law Schools: A Candid Assessment of the Challenges and Some Suggestions for Moving Ahead, 78 UMKC L. Rev. 429 (2009);

-The Law of Corporate Groups: Jurisdiction, Practice and Procedure; and

-The Magic of Money and Banking, in The Law and Harry Potter (2010)

Professor Gouvin gives the following description of the poster:

A diverse team of law professors interested in accessing better teaching materials relating to counseling businesses and practicing transactional law banded together to develop an online community called “eLaw.”   The objective was to create an online exchange populated by classroom teachers and clinicians to share ideas, materials, and methods to better educate an increasing segment of law graduates – those wanting to be transactional lawyers.  With fewer traditional models of teaching available to draw from, eLaw provides a convenient forum where educators can access existing models from across the country in the form of syllabi, course materials, and scholarship. The hope is that the exchange not only assists in the proliferation of greater entrepreneurial and transactional education of law students (through classroom teaching, clinics, and simulations) but also acts as a catalyst for greater interdisciplinary interaction amongst educators from various disciplines. The project is sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, a non-profit organization which supports educational initiatives to teach entrepreneurship, especially interdisciplinary proposals. 
 
The poster describes the eLaw project, highlighting the online collaborative exchange among teachers, scholars and policymakers who care about bringing entrepreneurship education into the law school.  The eLaw project has created an active listserv, developed an extensive scholarship database, established a depository of teaching materials and otherwise provided guidance and support for professors seeking to integrate entrepreneurship into their classes. The poster also invites participation in the project from other professors who are not yet members of the eLaw community. 
 
The Kauffman eLaw team consists of Esther Barron at Northwestern University Law School, Eric Gouvin at Western New England College School of Law, Laura Hollis at Notre Dame University School of Business, Praveen Kosuri at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Lisa LeSage at Lewis and Clark Law School, Anthony Luppino at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law, and Helen Scott at New York University School of Law.  An electronic copy of the poster is attached.
 
The website provides a range of resources for users.  Anyone with access to the internet can use the two “public” features – the annotated bibliography of legal and business scholarship relating to entrepreneurship and the listing of internet resources for entrepreneurs and teachers who teach entrepreneurship.  The scholarship area is very useful, here are some of its salient features:
 
  • Designed to aggregate and supplement other bibliographic resources.  Covers historical materials and monographs that are not covered in things like WESTLAW or SSRN.
  • Contains both legal materials and business materials.
  • Whenever possible we provide a short abstract  to make browsing easier.
  • Updated every six months.
  • Has an Overview that breaks down the topics into subgroups to make browsing easier.
  • There is a search function, but honestly, it is still in development.
  • Some principal themes of the Resource Links section:
    • Educators might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
      • Legal Education
      • Theory and Practice
    • Entrepreneurs or  their advisors might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
      • Finance, Intellectual Property and Legal Issues
    • Policy Makers might be particularly interested in:
      • Community Economic Development
      • Race
      • Sustainability
      • Women
Similarly, the “Resources” section seek to impose some order on the many Internet sites that have something of value for entrepreneurs and educators.
  • Designed to have information of interest to law faculty, faculty from any other disciplines involved in entrepreneurship education, and entrepreneurs. 
  • Has an Overview in frequently asked questions format guiding readers to its 13 subsections.
  • Some principal themes of the Resource Links section:
    • Educators might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
      • Interdisciplinary Programs (links to information about  the Kauffman Campuses entrepreneurship education initiatives and innovative collaborations between law schools and business schools and other academic units)
      • Transactional Skills Programs (featuring examples of concentrated skills programs at U.S. schools)
      • Lawyers as Entrepreneurs (includes lists of courses offered at U.S, law schools on solo and small firm practice and entrepreneurial management of a law practice)
      • Collaboration Platforms (links to blogs, committees, sections relating to law and entrepreneurship)
      • Conferences and Meetings (relating to entrepreneurship education)
      • Publications (list periodicals to which entrepreneurship educators might want to submit their scholarship for publication)
      • Curriculum Design Funding (lists possible sources of grants from governmental agencies or non-profit organizations to promote entrepreneurship education)
      • Continuing Legal Education (in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation)
    • Entrepreneurs or  their advisors might be particularly interested in the subsections on:
      • Clinics (lists and links on a state-by-state basis law school transactional clinics, including small business, community economic development and IP clinics)
      • Referral Networks (links to programs to help locate  lawyers by practice area)
      • Affordable Legal Services (links to various bar association initiatives)
      • Help Centers (links to programs assisting with business planning, etc.)
      • General Laws and Forms Information (wide variety of links to governmental and bar association websites providing information on federal and state-by-state laws and forms  affecting the start-up and operation of a business).  The site  warns readers about the need to engage qualified legal counsel to assist with such matters.
Access to the other sections requires registration.  Registration is free, but it provides a modest screening device so that we can be relatively comfortable that the people accessing the course materials are professors.  Those materials include sample syllabi, teaching exercises, annotated forms, and “roadmaps” for helping teachers think through the topics in preparation or teaching.  The Site is also home to an active listserv of legal educators.

-CM

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