New Law School Innovation Clinic advises CIE entrepreneurs

Law school students will counsel CIE entrepreneurs on legal questions related to their start-ups.

The Chicago Innovation Exchange (CIE), law firm Perkins Coie, and the Law School announced the creation of the new Innovation Clinic at the Law School last Tuesday. The clinic will offer legal assistance to CIE entrepreneurs and experience with start-up and technology law to Law School students.

The CIE is a University of Chicago innovation hub that supports the start-up business ideas of students, faculty, and South Side residents.

The three organizations partnered to start the new clinic, which will provide a space for CIE entrepreneurs to receive counsel from law students on legal questions related to their start-ups.

CIE Executive Director John Flavin called the Innovation Clinic one of the most comprehensive legal clinics, saying that it will cover a broad range of legal issues, from incorporation to employment agreements to the protection of intellectual property.

With the new partnership, CIE entrepreneurs also have the opportunity to attend a workshop series held by Perkins Coie that will address the most common legal questions for start-ups. Flavin is excited to work with the Seattle-based firm, which he calls the “perfect” partner.

“Perkins Coie has tremendous expertise and resources as a longtime industry leader in the West Coast start-up space, making them the perfect partner for this clinic,” Flavin said in an e-mail.

For Perkins Coie, the partnership is an opportunity to establish connections with Chicago-based start-ups.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to foster great ideas and support new business growth in Chicago while building long-term relationships with the region’s most promising entrepreneurs,” said Perkins Coie partner Steve Ducommun, according to an article from the UChicago news office.

Director of the Innovation Clinic and Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Salen Churi said the partnership will give University of Chicago law students valuable experience in the up-and-coming field of start-up law.

“Our students have expressed a great deal of interest in working with emerging companies, and the Innovation Clinic will give them practical experience with start-up clients that will prepare them for success in this growing field,” Churi said in the same UChicago news office article. “The CIE is driving explosive growth, and I am excited to offer our students the opportunity to contribute to that.”