BU Law Clinics at MIT to Help Students Start Businesses and Innovate

School of Law students will help MIT and BU students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation navigate legal issues facing their start-up ventures and technology projects.

A unique collaboration between Boston University School of Law and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will bring MIT and BU student entrepreneurs and innovators together with future lawyers from BU to address the legal and regulatory compliance issues associated with their academic and extracurricular pursuits and their efforts to turn ideas into businesses.

BU Law and MIT are collaborating on a brand-new Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, and Cyberlaw Program.

The Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, and Cyberlaw Program will consist of two clinics that provide students of both institutions with opportunities to work together on business, intellectual property and legal compliance issues.

The Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property clinic launched in September under the leadership of its new director, BU Law Clinical Instructor Eve J. Brown. The Technology & Cyberlaw Clinic will commence in 2016 after a director has been hired. Both clinics will be jointly housed at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the BU School of Law.

“The partnership between MIT and Boston University School of Law will benefit students at both institutions while advancing MIT’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship,” MIT Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart says. “This is an important step forward in our efforts to support all MIT students as they imagine, innovate, and create.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with MIT on these cutting-edge new law clinics,” says BU Law Dean Maureen A. O’Rourke. “Our Intellectual Property Program has long been recognized as one of the best in the country, and this addition will give students the kind of practical, hands-on experience working with real clients that will prove invaluable as they begin their careers.”

The eight law students participating in the two-semester clinic that starts this fall will advise and represent MIT and BU students who wish to start a business, as well as start-ups where students from either institution are actively involved.

BU Law students will advise the student entrepreneurs on how to set up and finance their new business, and address legal issues associated with smaller enterprises. They will also draft, review, and negotiate contracts and other legal documents associated with the formation and protection of new companies, including advising on intellectual property rights and registration of trademarks and copyrights. Additionally, BU Law students will provide their student clients with representation in angel, venture, and commercial financing deals and counsel on employment law for early-stage ventures.

When the Technology & Cyberlaw Clinic launches next year, the law students will advise MIT and BU students on laws and regulations that may affect their innovation-related academic and extracurricular activities. These areas may include cyber crime, privacy issues, data security, and intellectual property. They may also provide limited litigation and dispute resolution-related assistance in these areas.