UW Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic lends helping hand to local startups

By Kate Newton, Isthmus

UWLE_Clinic_webRandy Nagy is always a little hesitant to sit down with a lawyer. He knows it will cost a fortune. Unfortunately for Nagy, who founded Fast Forward Forensics in April, lawyers are a necessity when you run your own business.

“When I do sit down with a lawyer, it’s a 15-minute discussion, and I don’t want it to be any longer” jokes Nagy, whose company sells products to collect and store biological samples.

But thanks to the UW-Madison’s Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, Nagy and others have a free way to iron out the legal ramifications involved in running a business. “When I sit down with the clinic, it may take a half hour or 45 minutes, but you feel a lot better after that that a good decision has been made,” Nagy says.

Founded in 2009, the clinic also gives two- and three-year law students an opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice. Law student Bryon Eagon loves the opportunity.

“It’s exciting because it’s real work, it’s not just a theoretical application and academic exercise,” says Eagon, a former Madison council member. “These are real clients with real-life legal issues that through our work we’re able to…hopefully help them grow and succeed as entrepreneurs.”

The clinic provides free legal services for budding entrepreneurs, nonprofits and small businesses. Its mission is to provide experience and a challenging academic environment for students and “high-quality” services to clients; it also aims to bolster the local and state economies through its work. Hundreds of clients —  310 in 2015 alone —  have sought services from the clinic ranging in scope from drafting international distribution agreements and contracts to finalizing a patent or navigating intellectual property law. Read more …

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