Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hastings Law innovative "Startup Legal Garage" program serving women and minority entrepreneurs

The Institute for Innovation Law at U. Cal. Hastings College of Law has developed a great new program for students in partnership with Black FoundersWomen 2.0, and Girls in Tech. The program, called the Startup Legal Garage, is part field work under the guidance of experienced practitioners and part coursework taught by faculty.  According to the school's website, participating students will undertake corporate and IP work for early stage start-ups under the supervision of "leading attorneys" in the Bay Area.  Participating students should expect to receive not only valuable legal experience but also an "in-depth" understanding of the incentive structures that drive businesses.  A unique feature is that students will then take these real-life deals into the classroom where faculty members will use them to illustrate the workings of legal doctrine in action.

Students have a choice between either a tech or biotech module.  Below is some additional information about the program from the school's website followed by a short video in which Professor Robin Feldman, Director of the Institute for Innovation Law, discusses the program in greater detail.

The Startup Legal Garage course is a full year course with seminar and fieldwork components each semester.


Classroom Component: Weekly seminar addresses doctrinal issues in Intellectual Property and Corporate law.  This course will orient students to the expectations of a transactional law practice and students will develop and apply lawyering skills such as transaction planning and management, client interviewing and counseling, navigating conflict of interest issues, and legal research. Students will bring redacted versions of their deals into the classroom.


Fieldwork Component: Under the close supervision of a practicing attorney, students will work with entrepreneurs in their very early stages of business planning. The Startup Legal Garage is not an external placement clinic. With the nature of startup work, the fieldwork will ebb and flow, and students will not be working on a client project at all times. Students will, however, have the opportunity across the year to work with actual clients under the supervision of seasoned attorneys. There is no substitute for the real world.



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