Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

In a recent study on the best practices of business incubators that contribute to the success of startups, one of the best practices asserted is to include a business lawyer on the advisory board of business incubators, who may suggest necessary legal issues for startups to address and connect the incubator startups with legal assistance. Although many college and university incubators may have access to experienced attorneys who are able to provide advice, and who are able to represent student-led ventures, most do not have access to a university law clinic established to provide pro bono, direct legal representation and general legal education solely to their student-led ventures. The University of Michigan Law School's Entrepreneurship Clinic (the "Entrepreneurship Clinic") is one of the first legal clinics of its kind created to provide legal representation and general legal education solely to student-led ventures at the University of Michigan, including those ventures involved in the University's student venture accelerator, TechArb. This essay will generally discuss campus student incubators, and in particular TechArb, the University of Michigan's accelerator for student-led startups. The essay explores the particular types of governance issues that studentled ventures face and how lawyers, law firms and law school clinics help to address these issues. It will then discuss the Entrepreneurship Clinic and the role it plays in providing legal representation to University of Michigan student-led ventures on governance and other legal issues. The relationship between the University of Michigan's TechArb and the Entrepreneurship Clinic provides an example of the importance of collaboration among campus entrepreneurship programs, and illustrates how law schools should play a larger role in cultivating campus entrepreneurship and in developing a dynamic campus entrepreneurial ecosystem.


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