Thursday, December 6, 2007

For the lawyers in the crowd: An Idea to Help Start Ups

Ah, the things found when we google!

Such as this press release from 2005: New Intellectual Property and Business Formation Clinic to offer a variety of legal services to the St. Louis community.

From helping start-up companies grow into strong businesses to guiding inventors as they obtain patents, students in the Washington University School of Law's new Intellectual Property and Business Formation Legal Clinic, working under the supervision of experienced intellectual property law attorneys, will offer a variety of services to the University and St. Louis community.
Okay, I have not gone completely off the rails. Bear with me for a moment. This legal clinic continues its existence at Washington University. The school has a web page for the clinic: Intellectual Property and Business Formation Legal Clinic. (The University of Maryland School of Law has a similar project: Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center).

All well and good - for law schools which can forgo profit making. Why should the private bar take an interest? Because this reminded me of something I read awhile back at the Arborlaw blog, Ann Arbor, Michigan ranks #1 in 2007 for knowledge workers where it was announced that the local firms in Ann Arbor would provide " company startup services to downsized Pfizerites, and I have decided to do this as well. Arborlaw will provide free incorporation or LLC formation for qualifying former employees of Pfizer who become entrepreneurs and start a new technology-based business in the Ann Arbor area." Arborlaw then published details on this program in Arborlaw to Grant Free Startup Legal Services to Pfizer Ex-Employees.

Now what if lawyers or county bar associations expand the Ann Arbor idea to include basic intellectual property for a reduced fee? Criteria for such help needs development but I think Ann Arbor provides a guiding light for those criteria.