San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
While there are many events in the eco-system where lawyers are called to speak on topical issues addressing concerns of entrepreneurs, there is no event where entrepreneurs can receive some personalized guidance from legal professionals on real issues that they often face with respect to their business specifically. The Free Legal Clinic is an attempt to fill this gap. The idea is to create an environment where entrepreneurs can discuss their problems with lawyers willing to help in a focused manner.
Experts: Legal experts who specialize in different areas relevant to startups will be invited – e.g. business structuring, investment law, intellectual property, information technology, tax and dispute resolution.
Entrepreneurs will come to a registration table and indicate what kind of questions they have on mind. A volunteer will assign him to a particular “Clinic” based on the kind of questions, business of the entrepreneur and the legal experts available.
A lawyer will be assigned a table and a number of entrepreneurs (who are pre-registered or register on the spot indicating what their needs are and accordingly assigned a clinic).
The clinic is essentially a table, headed by a lawyer/ legal expert. The assigned participants will sit around the table simultaneously.
The lawyer will begin the clinic with a 10 minute talk highlighting the area of law he practices and what kind of problems entrepreneurs commonly face. The focus will be on giving examples of issues commonly faced by early stage entrepreneurs. For instance, in a tax related clinic, the designated expert may explain how tax implications are different when it comes to product startups vis-à-vis services companies, or whether software or IT services businesses need to pay excise duty.
Following this introductory session, which in some way is expected to provide a primer for the entire clinic, the assembled entrepreneurs will put forward their questions which they want answered. The answers will be made in presence of the other entrepreneurs at the same clinic, since we believe that entrepreneurs will benefit greatly from listening to specific problems and solutions suggested to the other entrepreneurs as well.
The lawyer will choose at least 6 questions out of these on a prioritized basis that he wants to answer on the spot. All questions will be written down by one of the participants (paper/electronic device). If the lawyer wishes and time permits, more than 6 questions can be addressed during the event. All pending questions will be answered on twitter using the hashtag #Businesslawclinic. In case there are questions that were answered but the expert would like to share any link/document etc – the expert will do so using the hashtag on twitter: #Businesslawclinic
The duration of the clinic is 1 hour including 10 minutes of introductory session, and participants are expected to listen to all the question-answers and pose follow up questions where appropriate. They can even share their experiences. Throughout all such discussions the lawyer/expert will play the role of moderator and the participants will assist the lawyer to keep the discussion on track and relevant. Participants are not expected to change tables during the event. Multiple clinics (tables with an expert in a particular area heading the discussion) will be running at the same venue.
Participants are requested to take note of the fact that the lawyer would not have time to research your questions, or to review documents. The answers given will be somewhat generic in nature. All advice comes with this standard disclaimer:
Answers provided during the Free Legal Clinic are not substitute for professional legal advice. These answers do not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. If you ignore this warning and convey confidential information in a private message or comment, there is no duty to keep that information confidential or forego representation adverse to your interests. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction before taking any action that may affect your rights.
When & Where
iPleaders in association with TLabs
iPleaders builds mass legal literacy programs targeted to solve real life problems. We help Indian universities to build world class, profitable and highly accessible online and mobile learning courses around law, and then sell these courses to learners across the world. We contribute technology, content and our marketing, and the university provides certification, content, faculty and audits the courses.
We have built a Business Law course targeted at entrepreneurs and businessmen, which has about 300 hours of content including text, videos, mindmaps, process documents, tests etc. NUJS, considered to be one of the best law schools in India, awards a diploma to the learners.
We also recently signed a MoU with the eDC IIT-Delhi which empowers us to establish and uplift Entrepreneurship Development Initiatives in many colleges across India. Students can directly intract with us on various topics related to Entrepreneurship through our workshops and forums.