The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) provides law students with practical experience in transactional law while offering valuable legal services without charge to local startups lacking access investor resources. The Clinic's clients include graduate students, professors, local entrepreneurs, and startup companies. Third-year Colorado Law students staff the Clinic during the academic year under the joint supervision of a full-time clinician and experienced attorneys from top law firms in Boulder and Denver. Students interact directly with clients to provide legal advice on a wide range of business-law issues including entity formation, intellectual property, employment, and contracts. By assisting entrepreneurs when they need help the most, the ELC provides Colorado Law students hands-on opportunities to make a difference in the community. The ELC pursues complementary student and client goals:
ELC clients include Front Range entrepreneurs, startup companies, students, and CU faculty. The Clinic also assists in the process of commercializing University-developed technology by representing faculty members and companies working with the CU's Technology Transfer Office.
"The ELC helped assess and execute the legal documents that our growing company needed to protect ourselves. We worked with two detail-oriented, passionate teams; it was very hard to believe that they were law students! Most importantly, they helped shuttle our trademark documents through the USPTO - a daunting feat for a startup of two. If it wasn't for them, our name/brand could very well still be in purgatory. We'd recommend the ELC to any startup business in Colorado!"
- Meg Meyer, Co-Founder of The Bear & The Rat
- Nate Abbott, Co-Founder of Everlater
- Andrew Pudalov, President of RUSH BOWLS
"The ELC helped UniversityParent in a countless number of ways, including auditing our existing legal documents, drafting agreements, and making sure that we were in good standing. I'm so thankful for their support."
-Sarah Schupp, Founder of UniversityParent.com
Clinic students helped two University of Colorado researchers form an entity committed to catalyzing renewable fuels and chemicals that are environmentally friendlier than petroleum-based products. The company has since received funding from two Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms and now has an exclusive University of Colorado license to move forward with its technology.
The ELC is a graded two-semester course (four credit hours for the year). The clinic is limited to 12 students. Class time is divided between selected topic disccussions (often with expert guests), and client interaction and work product. Students are supervised by the ELC Professor in collaboration with generous oversight from attorneys in the Boulder and Denver communities. Students work directly with clients to provide advice, draft documents, and research legal issues.
ELC exposes students to legal issues often faced by young entities, such as entity formation, financing, employment agreements, and exit strategies. See a list of Legal Issues Handled by ELC.
Representative projects and initiatives include:
The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (especially the academic-year ELC) serves as a capstone transactional experience for law students. Applications to the summer ELC and the academic-year ELC are collected each spring in the weeks preceding registration for enrollment. The Registrar sends notice in March to rising 2L and 3L students with instructions for application. Qualified applicants are identified through an application process. Information is elicited in two broad areas:
The academic-year ELC typically admits 12 qualified students. Rising 3Ls are admitted to the academic-year ELC based on written applications. Selection of qualified applicants is completed via the bid-point system (ties by lottery system). Qualified applicants who do not directly get entry to the course are placed on a wait list.
The summer ELC typically admits 6-8 students each year. Rising 3Ls are given priority into the summer ELC and rising 2Ls are admitted to the summer ELC on a case-by-case basis as space permits.
The ELC thanks Cooley LLP for providing a Form Confidentiality and Inventions Assignment Agreement. The Invention Assignment Agreement is provided for informational purposes. It should be helpful for companies considering whether to enter into an agreement with employees to specify certain terms of employment, including transfer of intellectual property ownership to a company. Form documents like this one require tailoring to specific circumstances in order to achieve intended legal efficacy. Please note: this document is provided for informational purposes. It is advisable that you work with an attorney before using this or any other form document. Colorado Law, Cooley LLP, and the ELC are not responsible for any use of this document.