Miami Law’s Startup Practicum Completes Successful First Year

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Miami Law Students Provided 2,650 Hours of Service to 42 Startups

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 13, 2017) – The University of Miami School of Law launched the Larry HoffmanIGreenberg Traurig Startup Practicum* in 2016 to and in just its first full year of operation students performed over 2,650 hours of work representing 42 different clients on a total of 76 matters. Through the Startup Practicum, Miami Law students help clients with organizing, financing, talent, intellectual property, risk, regulation and other legal issues that arise for entrepreneurs as they launch their new businesses and organizations.

Of the Startup Practicum's 42 clients, 18 (43%) came from the University of Miami family, with 10 (24%) being founded by current students, 6 (14%) founded by alumni and 2 (5%) founded by faculty. Geographically, 31 (74%) of the Startup Practicum's clients came from Florida, with 28 (67%) coming from South Florida and 23 (55%) from Miami specifically.

With respect to diversity, 16 (38%) of the Startup Practicum's clients had non-white founders and 11 (26%) had female founders, both of which are well above the national average for startups.

Specific legal matters students in the Startup Practicum assist clients with include selecting and forming a business entity (such as LLC or C-corp), evaluating, negotiating and documenting financing transactions (equity and debt), drafting independent contractor, employee, joint venture and other agreements, protecting intellectual property (including applying for patents and trademarks), and drafting Terms of Service and Privacy Policies for clients who have websites and apps.

The 76 matters performed by Startup Practicum students in 2016 included 20 (26%) business formation or organization matters, 3 (4%) financing matters, 16 (21%) agreement matters, 24 (32%) intellectual property matters (comprising 14 (18%) trademark and 10 (13%) patent matters), 11 (14%) terms of services and privacy policy matters, and 2 (3%) regulatory matters.

Some specific examples of work done by students in Miami Law’s Startup Practicum include assisting clients in closing $3M in investments. One Miami Law Startup Practicum student was flown to Colorado with his client to negotiate and draft an agreement, the result of which was the other party commenting to that it was the most pleasant and easily closed legal matter with which they had ever been involved. Several Miami Law Startup Practicum students continue to work with clients they were assigned through the Startup Practicum and at least one Miami Law Startup Practicum student has been offered a full time position with a client. The reviews from both clients and students have been excellent.

Professor Dan Ravicher directs the Startup Practicum. He has represented both startup companies and investors since the 1990s dotcom boom. He is also a registered patent attorney, who has prosecuted, licensed and litigated patents and other intellectual property, including software copyrights. Ravicher has also been an entrepreneur himself, founding businesses in various industries.

“I could not be more proud of what our students accomplished in just the first year of the Startup Practicum and I am very excited about what our students will be able to do in the future,” said Ravicher. “The students, the clients and the community are greatly benefiting from the generosity of Larry and Debi Hoffman and the attorneys at Greenberg Traurig whose support has made the Startup Practicum possible.”

* The Startup Practicum is supported by a gift made to the Law School by individuals at Greenberg Traurig in the name of Larry Hoffman. No other relationship between the Startup Practicum and the firm or individuals there exists.

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The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond.  Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. www.miami.edu

The University of Miami School of Law’s mission is to foster the intellectual discipline, creativity, and critical skills that will prepare its graduates for the highest standards of professional competence in the practice of law in a global environment subject to continual ― and not always predictable ― transformation; to cultivate a broad range of legal and interdisciplinary scholarship that, working at the cutting edge of its field, enhances the development of law and legal doctrine, and deepens society’s understanding of law and its role in society; and to fulfill the legal profession’s historic duty to promote the interests of justice.  www.law.miami.edu