SDSU and USD Form Unique Partnership with Duane Morris Law Firm to Offer Assistance to Student Entrepreneurs

San Diego (November 3, 2017) - Students from SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneur Center at the Fowler College of Business will work with law students from the Entrepreneurship Clinic at University of San Diego School of Law to obtain legal counsel as they establish start-up businesses. Licensed attorneys from Duane Morris will oversee each transaction and provide transactional support for each start-up endeavor.

The program will commence today, Friday, November 3, 2017.

“With the strength of the entrepreneurship community in San Diego, it just made sense for us to combine the assets of our three respective organizations to offer students the most well-rounded entrepreneurial education available to jumpstart their businesses,” said Lance Nail, dean of the Fowler College of Business. “The support and participation of Duane Morris is a critical element in making this program a success. Collaboration between the academic and business communities fosters a productive environment where startups can thrive.”

The program will feature an annual Duane Morris seminar to teach students in the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program about the common legal pitfalls of startups. Additionally, Duane Morris will host legal clinics in its San Diego office several times a year to help students handle any legal issues that may arise, as well as offering general legal advice on their business matters.

“As a longtime board member of the Lavin Center, I felt this was a tremendous opportunity for us to support start-ups as a firm and individually,” said Duane Morris partner Michelle Hon Donovan. “Not only is it a win for the students involved, but it allows our attorneys the chance to assist these emerging ventures, which will have an incredibly positive impact on the San Diego community.”

Each SDSU student entrepreneur will be paired up with a USD law student at the USD School of Law Entrepreneurship Clinic who will provide legal services under the supervision on an experienced attorney. Duane Morris will also take on certain cases on a pro bono basis.

“This is an exciting partnership to foster entrepreneurship in San Diego,” said Stephen Ferruolo, dean of USD School of Law. “It demonstrates the types of collaborations that have made San Diego so vibrant a center of innovation. As a former start-up attorney, I know the value of pairing lawyers with entrepreneurs. As dean, I am pleased to be able to work closely with my colleagues at SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.”

The region has earned a reputation as a good environment for start-up businesses, with Entrepreneur magazine recently naming San Diego one of the country’s “10 Cities with the Hottest Startup Activity” and one of the “Eight Cities Whose Entrepreneurship Communities Are Booming.”

About the Entrepreneurship Clinic at USD School of Law

USD School of Law’s Entrepreneurship Clinic provides transactional legal services targeting high technology business startups and other emerging growth companies. School of Law interns, under the direction of an experienced attorney, provide counsel to a select number of clients. Interns receive training in the key legal services needed by entrepreneurs, including structuring the business entity, financing regulations, drafting of investment and employment agreements, and protection of intellectual property. The Entrepreneurship Clinic is one of ten client-service clinics at USD School of Law.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 20th nationally and 4th on the West Coast in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949

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Katie Pinto
katiepinto@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4207