The Entrepreneurship Clinic opened in January 2013. Clinic students advise and represent start-up business clients in a variety of early-stage legal matters, including entity formation, contract drafting and review, intellectual property protection, real estate, financing, regulatory, compliance and other transactional matters. Students will develop practical skills necessary for the effective practice of transactional law, gain an understanding of entrepreneurs as clients and the interplay of legal, ethical and practical considerations that are required to effectively advise them, and develop relationships with individuals and organizations in Nebraska's entrepreneurship community applicable to such student's professional and educational goals.
The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law is a student-based clinical program designed to provide representation and counsel to startup business clients on a variety of early-stage legal issues. Under supervision of clinical faculty, students participating in the Clinic will interact directly with clients to provide a wide range of business law issues. By assisting entrepreneurs when they need help the most, the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic provides Nebraska Law students hands-on opportunities to make a difference in the Nebraska business community.
Brett C. Stohs
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Cline Williams Director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
7 McCollum Hall
University of Nebraska
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
Clinic visitors may park on the south side of McCollum Hall and sign in upon arrival at the Clinic. We do not accept walk-in clients.
The Clinic is directed by Professor Brett Stohs. The mission of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law is to:
- Educate, train, and inspire law students to understand the needs of, and be advocates for, entrepreneurs, innovators and start-up businesses.
- Provide law students an opportunity to develop meaningful and transferable legal, practical and ethical skills through application of classroom lessons to client representation in a transactional law firm setting.
- Offer early-stage transactional legal advice and representation to Nebraska’s aspiring entry-level entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-up businesses.
- Inspire an entrepreneurial spirit among law students by facilitating educational and professional opportunities that connect law students with entrepreneurs and business leaders, relevant partner organizations, and legal practitioners who represent entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
- Contribute to the University of Nebraska’s mission as the state’s primary intellectual center by performing direct outreach to rural and urban communities on legal issues facing entrepreneurs and start-up businesses and providing legal support to other University of Nebraska initiatives relating to entrepreneurship.
- Become a meaningful contributor in the Nebraska ecosystem of entrepreneurs and supporting organizations that are working to make the State of Nebraska one of the best places in the United States to start a business.
Clinic clients include entry-level entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-up businesses located throughout the State of Nebraska. Clients will be selected among those who meet the following criteria:
- Applicant’s place of business is within the State of Nebraska.
- The work requested by applicant is appropriate for third-year law students and presents a meaningful educational opportunity.
- Applicant has not received a significant round of outside funding or financing from investors.
- Applicant would otherwise be unlikely to obtain qualified legal advice.
If your business meets these criteria and you wish to be considered for initial representation by the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic, please submit the Client Intake Form. All client selection decisions are subject to the Clinic staffing availability and are made solely with the Clinic Director’s approval.
The scope of the Clinic’s work will be limited to first-stage business matters relating to the entrepreneurial endeavor, and may include the following:
- Entity selection and formation
- Contract drafting and negotiations
- Intellectual property protection (excluding patent matters)
- Negotiating real estate leases
- Counseling with respect to initial financing matters
- Certain regulatory and compliance matters (such as employment, and state and local issues)
- Notwithstanding the foregoing, there are certain matters that the Clinic will not handle, which include actual, or threatened, or potential litigation, immigration law, patent searches or applications, and pure tax advice.
The scope of legal work to be completed will be agreed upon in writing, and upon completion of such work, the attorney-client relationship will be terminated. Where appropriate, clients will be referred to members of the private bar for additional legal support going forward.
As one of Nebraska Law’s clinical programs, the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic serves as a capstone experience for law students interested in the practice of transactional law. Students will have all the responsibilities incumbent upon attorneys in a small law firm practice, which translates to direct client advice and communications, matter management, multitasking, and active participation in the life of the firm.
Students in classroom
Because Clinic matters involve actual clients, Clinic students’ experiences will not be uniform. However, students will have an opportunity to develop a number of legal skills during their time in the Clinic. For example, students will likely draft agreements, form at least one company, and advise clients on complex legal and business issues. Students will also be exposed to law office management techniques that include time-keeping and time-management skills.
In addition to the client work, students will be required to participate in an intensive “boot camp” orientation conducted during the beginning of the semester, as well as a weekly seminar and staff meeting.
The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic is a 6 credit hour course. Students must be of senior standing (i.e., 3rd year), and have previously completed Business Associations and Individual Income Tax. If you wish to be considered for enrollment in the Entrepreneurship Clinic, you will need to apply in connection with the Law College lotteries, which are conducted shortly before course registration each semester. Please contact the Clinic for more details about the application.