Friday, October 21, 2016

Legal Issues for Startups and Small Businesses

Sadly, I am still in the midst of grading business associations and civil procedure midterms so I cannot finish my substantive post on Wells Fargo yet. WF is the gift that keeps on giving from a teaching perspective, though. Yesterday I showed students some of the litigation that has come out of the debacle to illustrate the difference between a direct and derivative suit (and to reinforce some civil procedure principles too).

Last night I took a break from grading to go to a Meetup called Ask a Start Up Lawyer. I hope to teach a 2-credit skills course on legal issues for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs next semester and I have found that going to these sessions and listening to actual entrepreneurs ask their questions helpful. Last night's meetup was partcularly enlightening because a number of international entrepreneurs here in Miami for a State Department initiative attended. While in the past some of these sessions have focused on funding options and entity selection, last night's "students" mainly wanted to learn about intellectual property and international protection. Many of them come from countries with no copyright law, for example. Others come from countries where owning shares is a rarity. Although my course will focus on domestic entities, given the South Florida market in which I teach, I may need to add some of these comparative components to my already ambitious draft syllabus covering tax, employment, entity selection, governance, IP, business torts, basic securities regulation, social entrepreneurship, and exit strategies. 

If you have taught a course like this or have any ideas on materials to use, please comment below or send me a message at [email protected]

Intellectual Property, International Business, Lawyering, Marcia Narine Weldon, Teaching | Permalink


Loyola Law School LA's Business Planning course might be helpful to you. During the semester we use a fictional startup client to take students from entity formation through a founder stock issuance and end with a first round VC financing. I can ping you separately with info on how to access our sample syllabus, lecture notes and graded assignments, if interested. There is also a corresponding book through Aspen.

Posted by: Shannon Trevino | Oct 21, 2016 10:29:04 AM

Just a suggestion . . . . You may want to add professional responsibility/lawyering issues to your topic list. I wrote a piece about that a few years ago for the Am. U. Bus. L. Rev. And I will be publishing something new in the area soon with the N.C. L. Rev. Others also have talked about professional responsibility in this context.

Posted by: joanheminway | Oct 22, 2016 8:23:13 AM

Thanks for these great suggestions. Joan, the professional responsibility issue is actually the first class. I would love to use your resources. Shannon, I will definitely reach out.

Posted by: Marcia Narine Weldon | Oct 23, 2016 11:50:06 AM

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