The Startup Law Clinic provides early-stage transactional legal advice and representation to entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-up businesses within the MIT and BU communities. Unlike the experience offered by traditional courses, students are expected to conduct themselves as attorneys, not students. Accordingly, students have primary responsibility to handle all client matters they are assigned. This includes pre-representation issues (e.g., intake interviews, engagement letters); case planning, fact gathering, and research; completing all deliverables on deadlines discussed with the clients; positioning the client to succeed post-representation; and properly closing client files.
Through participation in the Clinic, by the end of the Clinic year, students will:
- Acquire a practical, working knowledge of various fundamental substantive legal issues that entrepreneurs and their counsel regularly confront;
- Learn to recognize and manage the ethical issues facing startup lawyers in practice;
- Build the skill set needed to interact professionally and effectively with clients, colleagues, and supervisors, including how to interview and counsel clients effectively;
- Learn to provide competent and professional legal services to clients;
- Improve oral and written communication skills;
- Demonstrate competency in legal drafting;
- Plan and organize team efforts and collaborate effectively in completing various legal tasks typically associated with this type of legal representation;
- Learn and implement procedures for client intake, conflict analysis, file maintenance, project tracking, timekeeping, and scheduling;
- Reflect, individually and as a member of a practice group, critically on decisions, strategies, and actions taken throughout the year in order to develop an understanding of the student’s own challenges, strengths and lawyering style; and
- Learn the importance of pro bono service to the practice of law.