Daniel Dellafosse ’16

Helping Startups Start Out

“A lot of times, entrepreneurs know what they created, but they don’t know what to do after they’ve created it. I want to help nurture these businesses.”

Living close to the heart of Silicon Valley gives Daniel Dellafosse ’16 a unique view of the tech industry. All around, he’s seen the industry boom and bust and now boom again.

Daniel has also seen how critical solid legal advice is for budding entrepreneurs and their startup companies.

“A lot of times, these entrepreneurs don’t know what to do beyond creating their product,” Daniel says. “These people know what they created, but they don’t know what to do after they’ve created it. I want to help nurture these businesses.”

He’s already gained firsthand experience working with entrepreneurs through the School of Law’s Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, helping clients as they work through the challenges of launching businesses.

“The school is set up to make you successful because of the camaraderie. The whole school is like a community. People are not out to see you fail. It’s been great being part of a school where everyone wants to help you.”

That’s just one of many opportunities Daniel has taken advantage of at USF. He also worked at the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, serves on the USF Law Review board, and has tutored for the Academic Support Program, which he participated in as a first-year student.

He credits the program, aimed at first-generation college graduates, with helping him thrive in law school and giving him the tools and training to succeed academically. Through that program and the school’s overall emphasis on writing, Daniel says his writing has improved dramatically. “To be a good law student and a successful lawyer, you have to be a great writer,” Daniel says. “I really like that USF focuses so much on the writing.”

Daniel knows he takes on a lot, but he has extra motivation. He’s married, has a 2-year-old daughter, and worked for more than a decade before starting law school. To juggle it all, Daniel treats law school like a job; he arrives by 9 a.m., regardless of his class schedule, and studies when he’s not in class or at a clinic. By 5 p.m., he’s heading home for dinner and family time, with extra studying after his daughter is in bed.

“The diversity at USF was one of the things I was looking for in a law school.”

Despite being at a different place in life than many of his classmates, Daniel never feels out of place. He’s found USF to be an inclusive learning environment that welcomes all experiences and viewpoints. “The diversity at USF was one of the things I was looking for in a law school,” Daniel says.

“The school is set up to make you successful because of the camaraderie. The whole school is like a community. Everybody helps each other. People are not out to see you fail.”