Entrepreneurial Law Clinic


The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC or the Clinic) provides law students with practical experience in transactional law while offering valuable legal services without charge to local startup businesses lacking access to legal resources.  The ELC pursues the following complementary student and client goals:

  • Provide a rigorous and practical educational experience by serving as an inspiration for students interested in transactional law;
  • Promote ethical values in transactional lawyers; and
  • Provide outreach that connects to communities outside the law school and serves clients that would otherwise remain under-served by the practicing bar.

By assisting entrepreneurs when they need help the most, the ELC provides CU Law School students hands-on opportunities to make a difference in the community. 

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The Clinic’s clients include University of Colorado students and professors, local entrepreneurs, and local startup companies.  CU Law School students staff the Clinic during the academic year under the joint supervision of a full-time clinician and experienced attorneys from top law firms and businesses in Boulder and Denver.  Clinic students work in teams of two and counsel several clients throughout the academic year while working under several supervising attorneys.     

Students interact directly with clients to provide legal advice on a wide range of business-law issues including basic corporate work, commercial contracts, and select intellectual property matters.  Typical tasks include advising clients regarding choice of entity; forming corporations and limited liability companies; drafting shareholder agreements and operating agreements; drafting employment agreements, consulting agreements and intellectual property agreements; counseling clients regarding trademark and other intellectual property strategies and prosecuting patents.  Each week students engage in a roundtable discussion where they present and analyze issues related to their client matters. 

In addition to work on behalf of clients, student attorneys read materials on topics salient to entrepreneurial law and participate in seminar discussions and problem solving exercises led by local attorneys and entrepreneurs.  The seminar component focuses on issues that transactional attorneys frequently address in working with entrepreneurs and emerging companies.  Finally, each student attorney team completes a project that focuses on the local entrepreneurial community.  Representative projects include presenting legal issues to underserved entrepreneurs, researching ethical issues related to transactional practice, and drafting agreements for use by professors who teach classes in which startups are formed.

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Community Projects and Select Testimonials 

The Bear and The Rat:

  • "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 and The Rat



  • "The ELC helped us get a rock-solid legal foundation when we didn't have resources to spare, and the experience of working with the law students was really rewarding." – Nate Abbott, Co-Founder of Everlater


Rush Bowls:

  • "The ELC was tremendously helpful in providing a strong starting point for which we have been able to grow. The Clinic was incredibly valuable help when time and resources are so in demand." – Andrew Pudalov, President of RUSH BOWLS


University Parent:

  • "The ELC helped University Parent 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


MiCasa Testimonials:

  • "Mi Casa offers a 14 week business planning class for entrepreneurs and small business owners. One of the important classes is on legal entities and aspects of small business ownership.  The ELC has filled this gap of knowledge that small business owners have.  The knowledge imparted is very practical and the business owners leave with a clear idea of important legal issues they need to be aware of.  The ELC provides simple, practical, and credible information for small business owner's to move forward with their business." – Elena Vasconez, Director of Business Development, Mi Casa Resource Center – Denver Women’s Business Center

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Legal Issues Regularly Handled by Clinic 

The ELC provides various types of assistance, including:

  • Corporate Work
    • Helping clients choose an effective entity structure
    • Forming companies
      • LLCs, C-Corps, S-Corps, B-Corps
    • Assisting clients in issuance of founders’ equity and creation of founders’ agreements
    • Advising clients on how to comply with ongoing corporate legal requirements
    • Advising on the fundraising process and on corporate finance issues
  • Commercial Work
    • Drafting contracts and agreements relating to a client's business (or non-profit entity)
      • Employee & Independent Contractor agreements
      • Vendors agreements
      • Customer contracts
      • Website terms and conditions of use and privacy policies
      • Confidentiality agreements
      • Non-Disclosure agreements
      • Licensing agreements
  • Intellectual Property
    • Advising clients on how to protect their intellectual property
    • Working with the US Patent & Trademark Office 

There are a few areas of practice that the Clinic does not cover, mainly: litigation (or situations where litigation appears likely); pure tax advice; and immigration law.

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Client Application and On-Board Process

Applications to the ELC should be submitted in late-July through mid-August.   The majority of the Clinic’s clients are on-boarded and engaged at the beginning of the school year in late-August and early September.  Although applications are accepted throughout the year, there is often a large wait list by late August, and applicants are only accepted from the wait list if Clinic resources are available. 

Submission of an application does NOT create an attorney/client relationship between the applicant and the ELC. To apply for ELC assistance:

  • Carefully read all the information on this page.
  • Read the Acceptance Process information below.
  • Complete the ELC Client Application Form electronically and save it.
  • Send the completed Application Form as an e-mail attachment to the ELC Student       Manager at ELawClin@colorado.edu

Acceptance Process:  The three steps listed below must be completed before the ELC can accept and commence work for an applicant. The following client selection process is typically completed in late August.  All client selection decisions are subject to ELC staffing availability and are solely within the ELC’s discretion.

  • The ELC will review the application and determine if the request is appropriate for ELC assistance.
  • If the assistance requested appears appropriate, an ELC student is assigned to your file. The assigned student will contact you to set up an initial interview. Initial interviews typically occur in the first two weeks of the school year in early September.
  • Following the initial interview, the ELC will make a final determination as to whether to accept you as a client.

If the application is accepted, the client must sign an engagement letter prior to any ELC assistance.  Once the engagement letter is signed, the student team will begin substantive legal work for the client.

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Clinic Selection Criteria

The ELC selects applicants on the basis of all four of the following criteria:

  1. The applicant would otherwise be unlikely to obtain qualified legal advice;
  2. The applicant has not received a significant round of outside funding or financing from investors;
  3. The applicant’s place of business is within 60 miles of Boulder County (clients from other Colorado areas may be accepted as ELC resources and adequate means of communication permit); and
  4. The work requested by the applicant is appropriate for students and presents an interesting educational opportunity.

All client selection decisions are subject to the ELC staffing availability and are made solely with the ELC Director’s approval.

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If you want to apply to the ELC, please read all of the information on this webpage.  Then complete this application, and email it (in PDF or Word format) to ELawClin@colorado.edu

Costs and Fees

The ELC does not charge fees for its services. However, clients must pay any out of pocket costs associated with ELC work (e.g., state filing fees for entity formation).

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Benefits to Students

The ELC provides students the opportunity to gain practical experience in transactional law by handling real legal issues with real clients.  Students learn to manage client relationships, develop workflow plans, and deliver valuable work product for clients, all while benefiting from professional guidance and insight of experienced supervising attorneys.  The year long Clinic gives students some of the most hands-on experiences available in law school, and prepares students for the demands of actual law practice.  Additionally, students develop lasting relationships with both the legal and business community, helping to grow the students professional network.  Additional information can be found on the ELC main page and reading the Scope and Mission sections.

While the ELC is a unique opportunity for law students, other offerings exist for students to learn and engage in entrepreneurship.  Such offerings include:

·         CU Law’s Tech Law Accelerator Program

·         Transactional Moot Court

·         Deming Center Venture Fund

·         Venture Capital Course

·         Law School Entrepreneurial Certificate

·         JD/MBA Program

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Identifying Ideal Student Candidates 

As a prerequisite to enrolling in the Clinic, a student must take three courses within the areas of corporate law, agency, tax, securities, intellectual property, transactional drafting, or transactional law.  For guidance on relevancy of coursework, see courses required for the Entrepreneurial Law Certificate.  ELC students should plan on taking additional relevant coursework while enrolled in the Clinic.

ELC applicants should have demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship, which may be demonstrated through the following: 

  • Pursuit of the Entrepreneurial Law Certificate, enrollment in the joint JD/MBA degree program, or activity in campus entrepreneurship through the Silicon Flatirons Center, the New Venture Challenge, the Deming Center, Startup Colorado or other entrepreneurship-oriented organizations; and/or

  • Relevant personal and professional experience such as internships, externships, clerkships, or experience as part of start-up or emerging business.

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Enrolling in the ELC

The ELC is a graded two-semester course for which students receive three credit hours for each of the Fall semester and the Spring semester (or six credit hours for the academic year).  The Clinic is limited to 18 students.  Sixteen of the students are third year students, and two of the students are second year students who focus on the areas of intellectual property and patent prosecution.   The second year students are encouraged to enroll in the Clinic during their third year in order to provide continuity with respect to the Clinic’s patent prosecution matters.

The ELC serves as a capstone transactional experience for law students.  Applications to the ELC are collected each Spring in the weeks preceding registration for enrollment. The Registrar sends notice in March to rising third year students with instructions for application. Qualified applicants are identified through an application process.  Selection of qualified applicants is completed via the bid-point system with ties being determined by a lottery system. Qualified applicants who do not directly gain entry into the ELC are placed on a waitlist. 

Additional student and enrollment information is available by contacting Brad.Bernthal@Colorado.edu

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If you are interested in giving back to the ELC please contact Brad Bernthal.  Opportunities to give back directly through the CU Law School include the following:

  • Sarah L. Rector Memorial Scholarship – Established to provide scholarships to recipients at the Colorado Law School who embody the spirit of Sarah Rector, an alumnus of the ELC.  Special consideration may be given to students who participate in CU Law Schools’ entrepreneurship program.

  • J. Brad Bernthal Endowed Scholarship – Established to provide scholarship support to CU Law School students who embody the spirit of Professor Brad Bernthal, the instructor of the ELC.  

Companies that wish to donate a portion of their equity for the benefit of the Clinic may do so through the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (or EFCO). Please contact Brad Bernthal for more information regarding EFCO.

The ELC is supported by a network of Clinical Advisors. The Clinic Advisors below are some of the Front Range's leading practicing attorneys. These individuals generously donate their time to help advise Student Attorneys on issues faced by the ELC and, through their involvement, they are training the next generation of transactional attorneys. They provide critical support which helps the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic promote innovation by helping the area's entrepreneurial ventures.



Ben Abell

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

Ted Biderman

Pearl Street Legal

Caroline Bryce

Sheridan Ross PC


Nick Budor

Insurance Advisor

Jared Crain

Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP 

Marshall A. Custer

Husch Blackwell

Stan Doida

Doida Law Group LLC

Douglas Edwards

Hogan Lovells

Tracy Gray

Holland & Hart


Eric Gunning

Molson Coors Brewing Company

Jason Haislmaier

Bryan Cave LLP

Amy Hartman

Hartman Employment Law Practice LLC

Amy Hirter

Packard Dierking Attorneys at Law

Kirstin Jahn

Jahn + Associates

Joel Jacobson

Rubicon Law

Mark Kurtenbach

Hogan Lovells

Avi Loewenstein

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Trent Martinet

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

Matt McKinney

Kendall, Koenig & Oelsner PC

Ben Oelsner

Kendall, Koenig & Oelsner PC

Keith Olivia

Roberts & Olivia, LLC

Benjamin P. Parrott

Campbell Killin Brittan & Ray, LLC

Dorothy Raymond

Law Offices of Dorothy Gill Raymond

Trish Rogers

Moye White

Jennifer Rosenthal

Kendall, Koenig & Oelsner PC 

Jon Sargent

Frascona, Joiner, Goodman
and Greenstein, P.C.

Paul Shoning


Matt Stamski

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP 

Jon Taylor

Kendall, Koenig & Oelsner PC

David Toy

Hogan Lovells

Mike Wussow

Wussow & Associates