School of Law News
USD Law School and CONNECT Launch Unique New Law Clinic for Technology Start-ups
SAN DIEGO (April 29, 2010) – CONNECT, regarded as the world's most successful regional program linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success, and the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law today announced that they are launching a new Technology Entrepreneurship Law Clinic. The clinic will provide USD law students with mentoring from practicing attorneys along with real world experience assisting start-ups in CONNECT’s internationally recognized Springboard mentoring program with corporate, intellectual property and employment legal needs.
“Creating a partnership between CONNECT and USD Law School is a win-win for the whole community. Our students will gain valuable experiences to assist them in transitioning to the practice of law, accelerate the success of our local technology start-ups, and provide extra bandwidth for our law firm partners,” said Kevin Cole, Dean and Professor of Law, USD School of Law.
Springboard, CONNECT's flagship program, is a business creation and development program. Innovators at all stages from researchers working in the lab to major companies considering a spin-out of technology receive hands-on mentoring by successful CEOs. They are provided with advice on developing a business model, marketing plan, financial model and projections, intellectual property, valuation, due diligence, financing, industry feedback or valuable introductions to potential clients or strategic alliances. Industry clusters addressed by the program include pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and wireless health, clean technology, software, action and sports products, and communications technology.
“At the very time technology start-ups need legal help the most they have few resources to obtain help with corporate formation, bylaws, financing, due diligence, security interests, intellectual property and licensing and employment law and stock option agreements. This innovative new program will dramatically change the prospects of success for some of our region’s most promising technology start-ups,” said Duane Roth, CEO, CONNECT.
A select group of students will be admitted to the new clinical program each semester. Participating law firms and CONNECT Springboard staff will review the students’ applications and conduct interviews with them. CONNECT Springboard companies CortiCare, Yolia Health, CPO Portal, Ever-dry Hearing Aid, and mywijjit have already signed up to receive legal assistance.
Actual legal services will be available in September when the Fall semester kicks off. The course will begin with an intensive “boot camp” covering the core types of transactions encountered in technology startups. There are no scheduled classes during the semester. Instead, students will work with the companies and supervising lawyers each week, and meet one-on-one on a regular basis with USD School of Law Professor Ted Sichelman, who will be overseeing the Technology Entrepreneurship Clinic.
“This partnership is the first of its kind in San Diego and will give students an advantage in competing for positions in private industry and law firms,” said Professor Sichelman.
The CONNECT Springboard program is financially supported by many of San Diego’s major law and accounting firms. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C., Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, Benchmark Law Group PC, and Birch Stewart Kolasch & Birch LLP have signed up to participate in the Clinic and providing coaching and supervision to the law students.
Carl Kukkonen, Co-chair of CONNECT’s Springboard Executive Committee and a partner at Mintz Levin said, “The Clinic will help participating law firms provide a greater level of support to Springboard companies. In addition, the Clinic will give the next generation of lawyers a unique view into the skills required and business issues faced by an essential segment of our local community, namely technology-centric start-ups.”
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