Entrepreneurial Ventures Legal Services Project

Start-up ventures often require significant legal assistance to launch them on the right path, and USF students are here to help every step of the way.

Through our Entrepreneurial Ventures Legal Services Project, companies receive the services of four separate law clinics that are set up to reflect the expertise of a multifaceted law firm. Students work with professors, experienced practitioners, and knowledgeable alumni in their work on behalf of entrepreneurs.

The project partners with the shared coworking and events space Impact Hub San Francisco, which refers entrepreneurs to the clinic for legal services. The project also provides educational programming in law and business issues to the entrepreneurs working at the incubator. The project's partnership with Centro Community Partners provides legal advice and support to underserved Bay Area entrepreneurs, primarily women and minorities who are creating businesses with a social mission. Through our latest partnership with La Cocina, members of its incubator program will work with USF law students as they launch their food-related businesses. 

The four law clinics collaborate to offer a full package of legal services:

The Investor Justice Clinic handles basic entity choice, setting up the entity, handling potential securities laws concerns, detailing operating agreements, and transfer of ownership. This clinic can also take on vesting concerns, as well as pre-incorporation and founder agreements.

The Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic is assigned to basic name searches, name choice concerns, prosecuting trademarks, assignment of intellectual property rights to the new startup, non-disclosure agreements, terms of use, and privacy policy. This USF clinic was also recently chosen to participate in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s pilot program for law school clinics working on trademarks. This program allows qualified students in the clinic to appear before the USPTO to present and argue cases.

The Employment Law Clinic is assigned to characterization of those who work for the startup as employees or independent contractors, and to help with anti-discrimination policies and employment contracts.

The Mediation Clinic can handle founder disputes either before or after the business entity is created.