The Zell Entrepreneurship Clinic (ZEC) supports the University’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem by representing student-led entrepreneurial ventures as well as local startups and small businesses. Student attorneys in the ZEC encounter real-world transactional lawyering experiences with a focus on developing a business-oriented, client-centered mindset.
The ZEC offers transactional and counseling legal services to startups and established small companies in the following areas:
* Selecting and forming a legal entity and structuring ownership and capital
* Counseling on and prosecuting intellectual property matters (e.g., copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secret)
* Drafting and negotiating contracts
* Advising on employment matters
* Assisting on corporate fundraising and finance issues
Students in the ZEC typically represent multiple clients and assume primary responsibility for all client matters under the close supervision of ZEC faculty. Student attorneys plan client matters; interview and counsel clients; draft various legal agreements, documents, correspondence and memos; prosecute patent and trademark applications; and identify and research legal issues to help their clients implement their decisions. Student attorneys also take turns offering community office hours where they provide legal information to local entrepreneurs. Furthermore, student attorneys are exposed to the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem through attendance of local events as a class. During the weekly seminar sessions, students discuss lawyering skills and values, ethical issues, client issues and some substantive law. Student attorneys review and reflect on their work and receive detailed feedback from ZEC faculty during weekly supervision meetings.
There are no prerequisites for taking the ZEC. Because much of the client work will be in corporate, tax, intellectual property, employment, and other business areas, students will likely find prior course work in those areas helpful.