Fordham Law School has launched an innovative Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. It is part of a larger entrepreneurial law program at the School that combines a foundational curriculum in law and entrepreneurship with opportunities for students to work directly with early-stage startup companies and social enterprises in the vibrant and growing startup community in New York City. Bernice Grant has joined Fordham as the founding director of the clinic and senior director of the overall entrepreneurial law program.
Fordham Law’s entrepreneurial law program prepares students for future careers advising startups and other businesses, starting their own law firms, and using their legal skills for their own entrepreneurial ventures. The entrepreneurship curriculum is built around Fordham Law’s foundational and elective courses. More than 55 current courses—with several specifically focused on entrepreneurial law—address critical issues related to entrepreneurship including business and finance, intellectual property, information and technology, and nonprofits and social responsibility.
Grant will teach students how to provide transactional legal services to entrepreneurs, using an integrated law and business perspective based on her diverse background as a corporate attorney and certified public accountant. She comes to Fordham from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she co-supervised the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic and worked closely with the Wharton School of Business. She has also taught in the lawyering program at New York University School of Law and practiced corporate law at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Grant received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
“The clinic is part of Fordham’s nationally recognized clinical program and brings together Fordham’s leadership position in both business law and clinical legal education,” said Dean Matthew Diller.
Students in the clinic will directly advise entrepreneurs on a wide range of legal issues including business entity formation, compensation matters, intellectual property protection, and employment, financing, shareholder, operating, licensing, and customer agreements. The clinic will collaborate with Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business to address both legal and business issues for entrepreneurs. In addition, Grant plans to launch a podcast for entrepreneurs and bring together the School’s students and alumni to provide special programs and services for entrepreneurs, including pop-up clinics.
“I am delighted to develop an innovative approach to legal education at Fordham, marrying the resources of the business school with those of the Law School to create a best-in-class educational experience for the next generation of transactional lawyers and entrepreneurs,” said Grant.
The Nasdaq Educational Foundation and Fordham Law’s Entrepreneurial Law Advisory Council have provided generous support for this exciting initiative.