While many Entrepreneurship Center students pursue an integrated, joint JD-MBA, all second and third-year law students are eligible to participate. International lawyers who have come to Chicago for a year to obtain an advanced LLM degree from the Law School are eligible to participate in many of the entrepreneurship courses offered at the law school.

Clinical Course

Prior to participating in the DPELC clinical course, students must first take an introductory course in corporations or business associations, and then the Law School seminar on Entrepreneurship Law. This seminar takes the student on a journey through many aspects of starting up and operating a new venture and representing an entrepreneurial client. While students are exposed to many entirely new subjects, they are also taught how to put into practice in a business context the theoretical concepts learned in Contracts, Corporations, Federal Tax, Antitrust, Local Government, and Employment Law.

Under the supervision of clinical faculty and staff, law and business students work together to represent start-up companies, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. Clients range from brand-new initiatives eager to reach the marketplace, where students help launch the business from a legal perspective, to larger, established companies with more sophisticated legal needs such as raising additional capital, preparing equity incentive programs for employees, licensing intellectual property, and more. The Center's current roster of clients ranges from small businesses (such as a real estate consultant and a caterer) to high-tech e-commerce enterprises. Although its principal purpose is to train students for leadership positions in law and business, the Center also provides a valuable service to the community by helping many nonprofit organizations and other clients who could not otherwise afford legal assistance.

Students participating in the Center provide affordable legal advice on matters such as incorporation, trademark registration, copyright protection, and contract review.

Carl P Evans

Carl P. Evans (JD-MBA '11)

"I'm an entrepreneur and before joining the Center, I went through the process of starting up a company.

This experience made me realize what I did right and how I could improve. It also made me realize I could use my law background to help other entrepreneurs. This is one of a very few transactional legal clinics at a top law school, and we have the opportunity to help real clients with real issues. In my two semesters, I've worked with six clients ranging from small non-profits to a technology company. Being in this Center has given me the chance to gain important practical skills before getting out of law school and to share my expertise with people who really value it."

Clients are selected according to several criteria: businesses that can provide students with important and versatile transactional law experience, companies likely to create new jobs for the community, and nonprofit organizations providing a unique service.

The Center's client base reflects Chicago's diversity and outreach is conducted to appeal specifically to entrepreneurs in traditionally underserved communities. "Our students lead presentations at local high schools and conduct entrepreneurial seminars at community centers," says Barron. "In this way, we are able to share important information and resources with people who need it, and also attract new potential clients to our Center."