Resource Links Overview
Law schools, bar associations, governmental agencies, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and many other organizations offer a wealth of resources to assist those working at intersections of law with entrepreneurship and innovation. This section of the Web site provides links and references to a wide variety of sources of potential assistance to legal educators and others involved with such pursuits, including brief descriptions of specific programs, focus areas, and contact information.
This section is organized in a frequently asked questions format, with answers linked to lists of several pertinent resources. While most of the resources listed are available to the public, in a few cases the referenced link can be accessed only by members of particular organizations or groups, such as members of American Bar Association sections, committees, or divisions; in such cases the reference notes that subscription or membership is required. No listed resource has paid or is expected to pay any fee for being referenced in this Web site, which is intended for educational purposes only. No representation is made, of course, that all possible resources in the categories that follow have been included. Subscribers are encouraged to offer suggestions regarding additional and developing resources for listing in this section by using the “Submission Form” button located on the right-hand side of the Web page.
Opportunities for Law School Involvement in Interdisciplinary Programs
Q. Are there interdisciplinary cross-campus or inter-institution programs in entrepreneurship and innovation with which law schools are or can become involved?
A. Yes. The Kauffman Foundation and other organizations and agencies have funded and/or otherwise support cross-campus collaborations involving multiple disciplines. Many law schools are active partners in entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives with other units, such as business, engineering, and health sciences schools and technology transfer offices at their universities or nearby institutions. These programs include a variety of creative elements of classroom instruction, clinical education, interaction with business incubators, and other avenues for interdisciplinary and experiential learning.
For a list of such programs, see Resource Links —Interdisciplinary Programs.
Initiatives in Transactional Skills Training Generally
Q. Have law schools established special curricula and centers to help students develop the basic transactional skills they need to possess to become effective counselors to entrepreneurs and innovators?
A. Yes. Consistent with (and in many cases prior to) the call by accrediting bodies and many members of the practicing bar to bring more skills training to the law school curriculum, several law schools have established and continue to expand concentrated sequences of courses and centers designed to develop business lawyering skills such as deal understanding, client counseling, and negotiation and drafting proficiency.
For a list of such skills development initiatives, see Resource Links —Transactional Skills Programs.
Law Faculty Sections, Committees and Networks
Q. Are there committees and networks through which faculty interested in law, entrepreneurship, and innovation can share ideas concerning effective pedagogy and scholarship?
A. Yes. Through sections and committees of the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association, various blogs, and the Entrepreneurship Law (eLaw) Listserv network now operated through this Web site, there are many avenues for productive exchanges among interested faculty.
For a list of sections, committees, and blogs, see Resource Links —Collaboration Platforms.
For communications through the eLaw Listserv, please sign up for an account.
Publications Devoted to Law, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation
Q. Are there “specialty journals” or other publications dedicated to law, entrepreneurship, and innovation, or related subjects, to which interested faculty can submit their scholarship in such areas?
A. Yes. There are several such publications sponsored by law schools, multi-unit collaborations at U.S. universities, and other organizations.
For a list of such specialized publications, see Resource Links — Publications.
Continuing Education in Business/Entrepreneurship Law
Q. Do law schools or national, state, and local bar associations have committees and programs targeted at continuing education of lawyers providing service to entrepreneurs and innovators?
A. Yes, though many are more generally categorized as “business law” groups or programs, or are more specifically broken down by subject matter (such as securities, tax, and intellectual property law).
For a list of pertinent committees and programs, see Resource Links — CLE Initiatives.
Conferences and Meetings
Q. Are there conferences and meetings among educators, professional advisors and/or innovators featuring topics associated with law and entrepreneurship?
A. Yes, there are several events recurring annually that provide great opportunities to explore topics pertaining to education, practice or policy regarding law and entrepreneurship, as well as other events that are organized from time to time that directly or indirectly involve law and entrepreneurship subject matter.
For a list of conferences/meetings of potential interest to those interested in intersections of law and entrepreneurship, see Resource Links – Conferences and Meetings.
Access to Legal Services for Entrepreneurs and Innovators
Lawyer Referral Networks and Related Resources:
Q. How can entrepreneurs and innovators locate lawyers with training and experience in the areas of the law in which they need assistance?
A. There are many ways to search for information on lawyers and law firms and to determine their principal practice areas. These would include, for example, Internet Web sites, telephone directories, and bar directories. In addition, there are numerous lawyer referral networks throughout the United States.
For a list of lawyer referral networks sponsored by bar associations and other nonprofit organizations, see Resource Links — Referral Networks.
For a list of studies and reports on access to affordable legal services for small businesses and entrepreneurs, see Resource Links — Affordable Legal Services.
Q. Do many law schools operate clinics in which entrepreneurs and innovators can obtain legal services at no or low cost?
A. Yes. Approximately 55 percent of U.S. law schools have clinics providing assistance with business startup, community economic development, technology commercialization, intellectual property protection, or other transactional matters, and that number continues to grow rapidly. Many of these clinics regularly advise both for profit and nonprofit clients, while some focus on one or the other of those categories. Virtually all law school transactional clinics have standards designed to ensure that the clients they take are at a position in their endeavors in which they could not reasonably afford to pay market legal fees.
For a list of such clinics, with contact information and a description of their scope, see Resource Links — Clinics.
Generally Available Information About Legal Issues and Legal Documents Commonly Encountered By Entrepreneurs and Innovators
Q. Where might an entrepreneur or innovator look on the Internet for no cost information about types of legal issues and documents likely to be encountered as they pursue their ideas and business plans?
A. Many places. Web sites with helpful materials and links to other pertinent information are sponsored by agencies of the federal government (such as the Small Business Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor’s Office of Small Business Programs, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Copyright Office), state agencies (such as each state’s Secretary of State’s Office and the state Department of Revenue/Treasury), local government departments and licensing boards, and various nonprofit organizations. Such Web sites include information about starting and operating a business (entity formation, securities regulation, tax obligations of various types, employment-related laws, licensing considerations, trademark, tradename, and other intellectual property and unfair competition issues), and related form documents. It is not recommended that such information and forms be used without the counsel of qualified attorneys. However, these sites contain valuable information that may help entrepreneurs and innovators identify areas of law and categories of documents with respect to which they may need to seek the assistance of legal counsel.
For a list of representative Web sites offering such information and forms, see Resource Links — General Laws and Forms Info.
Help Centers for Planning Needs of Entrepreneurs and Innovators
Apart From Legal Issues
Q. Aside from legal issues, to where might law school clinics or attorneys in private practice point their entrepreneurial clients for no cost or subsidized assistance with business planning, marketing and advertising plans, and advice for obtaining financing for their ventures?
A. Again, there are numerous federal, state, and local governmental resources, as well as nonprofit organizations which, like the Kauffman Foundation, are committed to providing assistance to entrepreneurs and innovators and to promoting creativity and economic growth.
For a list of organizations and networks providing planning and financing suggestions to entrepreneurs and innovators, see Resource Links — Help Centers.
Educating Lawyers to be Entrepreneurs in Their Practice of Law
Q. Do law schools and bar associations provide guidance on business planning and principles of entrepreneurship for students and lawyers to utilize in the creation, ownership and management of law firms?
A. Yes. Many law schools offer courses under names such as law firm/office management, law practice management, the business of lawyering and entrepreneurial lawyering that address various aspects of the subject of lawyers as entrepreneurs. Such courses include training in opportunity identification, pricing, marketing and advertising, incorporation of technology, budgeting and other matters incident to starting and maintaining an entrepreneurial venture. Bar associations similarly provide pertinent resources in this area, particularly with respect to lawyers in or considering solo or small law firm practice.
For examples of law school courses and bar association resources regarding the training of lawyers to be entrepreneurs in their practice of law, see Resource Links—Lawyers as Entrepreneurs.
Potential Sources of Funding for Research, Curriculum Design and Implementation, and Community Outreach
Q. Are there available sources of funding to support law, entrepreneurship, and innovation initiatives in research and scholarship, curriculum design and implementation, and community outreach through the establishment or growth of clinical or other programs?
A. Yes. There is widespread agreement that revitalization and growth of the economy depends in large part on new ideas, entrepreneurial spirit, and creative business ventures. Many governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations interested in facilitating these pursuits might be well-positioned to provide financial assistance to faculty who appreciate the urgency of this need and are committed to shaping laws that facilitate entrepreneurship and innovation and to training lawyers to be effective counselors to entrepreneurs and innovators.
For a list of potential sources of funding from governmental agencies or nonprofit organizations for educational pursuits, see Resource Links —Curriculum Design Funding.
Overview current as of July 8, 2010.
For a printable version of the Overview, please click here.