Louisville Law 1Ls gain business experience with state economic engine

1L winter break project 2019
From left, first-year students Olivia Polston, Brooke Hopkins and Chris Emerson.

Louisville Law students gained business law experience during the 2019 winter break by working at Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3).

C3 is a science and technology nonprofit that provides resources to the state's public universities and colleges in order to transform ideas into patents, business plans and investment. It also provides support to entrepreneurs and startups in Kentucky.

First-year students Chris Emerson, Brooke Hopkins and Olivia Polston served C3 in a variety of roles: Emerson did contract annotations, Hopkins drafted intake questionnaires and Polston reviewed terms of use and privacy agreements.

The students worked at C3 as part of Louisville Law's winter break project program, which allows 1Ls to complete their required 30 service hours during winter break.

Emerson, who has an engineering degree, says that he has always been interested in a career in business or IP law, so the opportunity at C3 appealed to his interests. He was tasked with making contracts more easily accessible and says he gained analytic skills.

Hopkins, who is from Eastern Kentucky, was eager to help Kentucky startups. By creating client intake questionnaires, she was able to gain valuable research skills and learned how to better communicate with clients.

"It opened my eyes to a whole other type of law," says Hopkins, who is now considering a career in business law.

Polston, who has a background in business and finance, was attracted to C3's mission of building business in Kentucky. She says the work with C3 took her out of her comfort zone and stretched her skills.

Amanda Kool, C3's director of legal operations, supervised the students and calls them "smart and dedicated." They conducted impactful work while gaining valuable experience, she says.