This summer, Santa Clara University School of Law will roll out its Entrepreneur’s Law Clinic, which will advise startups affiliated with the school.
The new clinic will be led by Laura Lee Norris, a Silicon Valley attorney who has had a solo practice for the past seven years representing tech startups. Norris was previously vice president of legal affairs at San Jose, Calif.-based Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
Eric Goldman, who heads up Santa Clara’s High Tech Law Institute, said most other similar clinics place law students under the guidance of outside firms. "Here it is a law practice under the auspices of the university," he said.
For instance, UC-Hastings College of the Law also has a clinic focused on startups, but those students are supervised by attorneys at local firms, according to its website.
Goldman said there is a dearth of practice-ready lawyers fresh out of school and that this clinic "will help students learn the legal needs of Silicon Valley companies."
Norris said students at the clinic will focus primarily on business formation and helping new companies protect intellectual property.
For now, it will offer pro bono services only to companies affiliated in some way with the school, but both of those things could change, Goldman said.