Entrepreneurship Law Clinic
About the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic
The Brandeis School of Law created the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic in 2012 to provide law students with an experiential learning opportunity by providing legal support primarily to the Entrepreneurship MBA program at UofL’s College of Business.
The Entrepreneurship MBA students develop business ideas, form teams and compete in business plan competitions for seed funding. Client representation is fluid and depends upon the business ideas involved; however, the law clinic helps clients with things like articles of organization, operating agreements, opinions of counsel, independent contractor agreements and option agreements for technology.
The clinic can and does provide assistance to other students throughout the university with entrepreneurial legal questions.
The clinic is run like the corporate department of a law firm, with weekly firm meetings covering agreements, accounting, intellectual property, ethics, FDA approval and other topics. Students also receive support from law school faculty and a number of local firms and meet with MBA professors to get an understanding of their clients’ ideation process.
Meet the clinic's director
Will Metcalf became director of the clinic in 2016. He is a 2011 graduate of the Brandeis School of Law.
Share a little about your current work at UofL.
As the director of the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, I supervise the work of third-year law students who have been admitted to the limited practice of law by the Kentucky Supreme Court. Under the Kentucky Supreme Court rule, law students who have completed two-thirds of the hourly requirements for a Juris Doctor are permitted to provide legal services to other students while participating in the clinic and being personally supervised by a member in good standing of the bar of Kentucky.
In addition to having the privilege of serving as the director of the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, I am the senior director of research development and support for the University of Louisville in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation.
In this capacity, I oversee the work of a staff of amazingly talented individuals. My office is responsible for research and innovation data analytics, communications and sponsored programs development. We assist investigators in identifying potential funding sources, writing competitive proposals and submitting proposals to sponsoring agencies.
I also serve as the university’s export control officer and manage our various compliance obligations as they relate to international trade regulations. It is a really exciting job and is a great fit for what I do with the law clinic. Every day, researchers at the University of Louisville are making discoveries that can help solve problems, from finding treatments for cardiovascular disease to working on NASA’s Mars mission.
Quite often, the entrepreneurship MBA teams that the law clinic supports will have an option to license technology invented by a scientist at the University of Louisville. It’s great to be a part of this amazing academy.
How did you get involved with the clinic?
The former director of the clinic, Mike Slaven, did a fantastic job getting the clinic to where it is now. He always had a panel of guest speakers, and at some point asked me to present on a topic for the law clinic. After that presentation I was really excited about what the law clinic was doing and became more and more involved. In 2015, Mike decided to retire. Dean Susan Duncan asked me to take over where Mike left off.
Why is the clinic a valuable experience for students?
The clinic is a great way for law students to develop legal skills and instincts while assisting entrepreneurs and building lasting relationships with members of the entrepreneurial community in Louisville.
What are some of the things you’re hoping to achieve as director of the clinic?
I want the clinic to continue its outstanding support of the Entrepreneurship MBA teams and to expand to serving other entrepreneurial students throughout the university
What might law students be surprised to learn about working in the clinic?
The students can be intimidated when a client asks a question and they don’t know the answer. This experience will show students what clients need and expect from their lawyers.
"The E-clinic did something that no other class in law school can: It supplies real clients with real legal needs. As opposed to classroom modules or hypotheticals, the E-Clinic provided an opportunity to apply what I had already learned in school to a real-world situation. Knowing the business school teams relied on our group for its legal needs brought excitement to the representation, as well as a kick-start in task, time and client management."
--Rudy Ellis, Class of 2016, associate at Goldberg Simpson