FAQs About the Clinic

How entrepreneurial is the U-M student body; what types of clients will the Clinic serve?

The Clinic clients will come from the University of Michigan's exceptional student body. U-M is one of a select few schools with top-tier engineering, business, medical, and law schools. U.S. News and World Report recently rated 95 U-M programs in the top 10 in the country, one of only four universities to achieve that high level of broad excellence. U-M's student body has included these prominent entrepreneurs:

  • Google cofounder Larry Page
  • iPod inventor Tony Fadell
  • Former Skype CEO Josh Silverman
  • Sun Microsystems cofounder Bill Joy
  • Groupon cofounders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky
  • HandyLab cofounders Kalyan Handique and Sundaresh Brahmasandra

U-M students are currently engaging in entrepreneurial activities like never before:

  • The student TechArb start-up accelerator recently moved to expanded space and, after receiving a record number of applications, will host 19 start-up ventures in the next six months.
  • Entrepreneur Magazine recently named U-M undergraduate student Allen Kim its Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • The 1,000 Pitches business competition received more than 3,000 pitches in 2011.
  • U-M now has three student-run venture funds: the $5.5 million early-stage Wolverine Venture Fund, the five-year-old pre-seed Frankel Commercialization Fund, and the first student-run Social Venture Fund.
  • In 2012, U-M launched its Master of Entrepreneurship Joint Degree, a new program sponsored by the College of Engineering, Ross School of Business, and Office of Technology Transfer.

At Michigan Law, you can partner with U-M engineering, business, medicine, or with other students in U-M programs to create your own entrepreneurial venture or serve as legal counsel to these students through the Law School's Entrepreneurship Clinic.

I am a practicing attorney. how can I assist the Clinic?

The Clinic welcomes assistance from practicing attorneys and law firms anywhere in the world. There are several ways you may assist the Clinic.

First, for client matters requiring legal expertise, we may partner with a practicing attorney with the needed expertise. This attorney would typically represent the Clinic client on a pro bono basis and also mentor the Clinic law students to assist them in representing the Clinic's client.

Second, the Clinic is always willing to engage practicing attorneys to assist with educating the Clinic law students. Examples include guest lecturing during the clinic seminar, providing relevant and timely education materials, providing specialized education to particular law students on one of their client matters, or providing suggestions to the Clinic faculty concerning relevant topics or examples.

We are always looking for new ideas to make this Clinic truly exceptional and first of its kind, so please do not hesitate to contact us with ideas.

Who are the clients of the Clinic?

The Clinic represents U-M student-led entrepreneurial ventures. Clients may include U-M student-led businesses or individual student inventors. The Clinic will also represent U-M alumni concerning technology invented as a student at U-M. 

The Clinic generally will not represent ventures concerning U-M-held intellectual property. Therefore, if your technology was invented or jointly-invented by a U-M employee, you should consult U-M's Office of Technology Transfer for advice concerning your technology.

What kinds of legal services does the Clinic offer?

The Clinic offers transactional and counseling legal services in the following areas:

  • Selecting and forming a legal entity and structuring ownership and capital
  • Counseling concerning intellectual property (e.g., copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secret)
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts
  • Advising on real estate matters
  • Advising on employment law issues
  • Assisting on corporate fundraising and finance issues

The Clinic generally does not provide the following services:

  • Litigation or dispute resolution
  • Ongoing patent prosecution (although the Clinic may assist with drafting and filing provisional patent applications)
  • Pure tax advice
  • Immigration law