College of Law > Academics > Experiential Learning > Legal Clinics > Business Law

Business Law Clinic

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​Yearlong: 8 credits (4 credits per semester)

Overview

Who We Are. The Business Law Clinic, the law school’s only In-House transactional clinic, provides law students the opportunity to offer legal counsel to corporations on transactional matters. These small businesses are referred to us as part of the Clinic's partnerships with the Women in Entrepreneurship Institute and the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in the University’s College of Business.

Your Practice Experience. Working under the direct supervision of experienced transactional attorneys, Clinic participants are the primary legal counsel for clients. Clinic participants engage in and lead negotiations; draft and negotiate contracts including service and licensing agreements; draft corporate documents including shareholder agreements, corporate bylaws and operating agreements; draft client memoranda; and counsel clients on corporate transactional and corporate governance legal issues. Under the supervision of a Clinic alumni practicing in employment law, Clinic participants also counsel clients on employment law issues common with small businesses including employment law contracts and employee handbooks. Depending on the needs of the clients, Clinic participants also work on corporate intellectual property issues, such as advising on copyright and trademark registration issues, and technology and IP licensing matters under the supervision of an experienced attorney skilled in Intellectual Property law. 

Business Clinic Internship Program. Clinic participants also work with graduate students from the University's College of Business MBA program and the University's Jarvis College of Digital Media who provide financial and tech consulting services to Clinic clients as part of an internship with the Business Law Clinic. Law students partnered with business and tech graduate students create a vibrant incubator-type setting for Clinic clients and provides law students an academically rich and intellectually stimulating collaborative practice experience in business and entrepreneurship law.

Practice Areas. The Business Law Clinic is a robust year-long practice experience for students interested in transactional practice areas including business law, corporate finance, structured finance, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, information technology, real estate, corporate compliance, employment, and entrepreneurship law.

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Clients

Business Law Clinic students have negotiated and drafted service agreements, licensing agreements, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, shareholder agreements, memoranda of understanding, and commercial leases; engaged in federal and state trademark and copyright counseling and obtained federal registrations with the USPTO and the Library of Congress copyright office; and counseled clients on real estate transactions, corporate formation and corporate governance legal issues. These are some of the companies that students have worked with in the Business Law Clinic (listed with client permission):

"I don't know if all your students are this good or I just got lucky...For a small business like mine, where quite frankly we face unique challenges to grow and scale as a minority and women owned business, resources like the Business Law Clinic are essential for us. They have been for me." - Alicia Ponce, APMonarch

"DePaul Law Business Clinic has provided us with instrumental help and advice on cleaning up our business legal paperwork. The fact is they have gone over and beyond from our experiences with most attorneys but have been easy to work with at the same time. Follow up is 1000% on point. [Our legal team has] been a comfort to work with as we navigate our processes for a small business." - Morgan Strahan, REKROOT

"Working with the legal team at DePaul has enabled me to focus on managing and growing my small business knowing they have my back should any legal issues arise. During the pandemic and subsequent shut downs, it has been invaluable to have a team of legal experts to lean on in times of crisis." - Victoria Hilton, Stepping Stones Nursery School

“Working with my legal team at the Business Law Clinic helped me establish my company in Illinois and protect my intellectual property, now and in the future. As my company grows, I know I have a solid foundation thanks to the help I received from DePaul.”   - Nora Wall, founder of EduCalc.

"The Business Law Clinic has been great to work with. The students are great and can handle several different legal tasks. I enjoyed working with the team: legal, business and IT. This program is a great benefit and support to small business owners." - Afenya Pongo Montgomery, MBA, MSN, RN and founder of The iCAN Collective

Students

As of June 2022, 88% of 2019-2022 Business Law Clinic alumni are employed or have accepted permanent positions to start Fall 2022. Business Law Clinic alumni and current students have accepted permanent employment with:

  • Alvarez & Marsal
  • Baker and McKenzie
  • Ballard Spahr
  • Barnes and Thornburg
  • Benesch Law
  • Clingen Callow & McLean
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • Gussis & Alexander
  • Hahn Loeser & Parks
  • Hinshaw & Culbertson
  • Jenner and Block
  • Jones Day
  • Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Law Offices of John J Pembroke & Associates
  • Law Offices of Ruth I. Major, PC
  • Lipe Lyons Murphy Nahrstadt & Pontikis
  • McAndrews, Held & Malloy
  • McGuireWoods
  • Marshall Gernstein & Borun
  • Meltzer, Purtill & Stelle
  • Miller Canfield
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • Nager Romaine & Schneiberg
  • Sidley Austin

"Participating in the Business Law Clinic is one of the best decisions I have made at DePaul so far. This experience simulates what actual practice as a lawyer is going to look like and I have grown not only academically, but also personally. Clinic is challenging but extremely rewarding and it has given me a level of confidence in entering practice that I could not have otherwise received in a typical classroom setting." - Nicole M., Business Clinic Law Student

"My time in the DePaul Business Law Clinic was a benefit beyond anything I expected from law school. Working with clients with real legal issues helped me grow as a law student by applying different legal concepts, laws, and regulations to real world issues. I feel better prepared for my legal career after law school thanks to the teachings and guidance from Professor Lawton and Professor Wiser at the DePaul Business Law Clinic." - Raciel P., Business Clinic Law Student

“The Business Law Clinic is an invaluable opportunity to gain practical experience with client interaction and meaningful, albeit challenging, transactional legal work. You are afforded the independence to find your voice as a legal professional in a space designed to support your development as a soon to be practicing attorney. The clinic is a unique component of your legal education and genuinely prepares you for real practice.” - Kathrine M., Business Clinic Law Student

"The DePaul University College of Law Business Clinic was an especially helpful step in removing the "training wheels" of law school by getting to work with real life clients. The Clinic provided the opportunity to spot and solve tangible legal issues, which has given me increased confidence in my abilities." -  Angelina K., Business Clinic Law Student

"The Business Law Clinic is the absolute best experience I have had in law school. You get to work with real clients and gain invaluable practical experience. And the professors are amazing mentors that help guide you along the way!” - Jake A., Business Clinic Law Student


"I got the opportunity to sift through financial statements, observe trends in expenditure, calculate financial ratios and offer strategic suggestions, ranging from working capital management to re investment rates and sustainable levels of growth. The most rewarding experience for me was helping our small business clients understand how to budget expenditure to maintain healthy growth and set them up for future opportunities." - Joseph L, Business Intern from College of Business

"The Law Clinic allows me to practice the skills I've learned in class in a real world context. Working with the professors and the diverse Law Clinic team takes that education to a higher level that you can only get from applied work. I love that I can build skills, experience, and connections, all while adding value to real Chicago businesses in an impactful way." - Matthew R., Business Intern from College of Business

"I was able to apply the academic theory of making financial projections, creating business models and helping clients pitch their work to multiple stakeholders. I believe I am contributing by helping the clients solve real-life business issues by understanding their needs and the legal ecosystem they operate in today. I would recommend this experience to students who see themselves working in a dynamic environment serving multiple clients, engaging in a constant feedback loop and putting essential skills of consulting in practice." - Veena V, Business Intern from College of Business

"From the perspective of technical security, having the experience to conduct a Risk Assessment is a process that evaluates potential risks that may negatively impact the business. This was interesting because I was able to go through a process where I could help the client understand particular flaws they might have within their business and how I could be of service by assisting them with suggestions or formulating policies. Sharing your experience and knowledge with clients brought a sense of leadership and confidence." - Samuel O, Tech Intern from the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media

"As a tech intern with the Business Law Clinic, I had the opportunity to collaborate on a team with wonderful mentors and peers who approached issues from legal, business, and cyber perspectives. This inter-disciplinary experience was absolutely invaluable to gaining a more holistic understanding of the world around me. BLC provides a glimpse at work after university, while still maintaining the support and guidance of the college experience -- a great opportunity for personal and professional growth." - Emma P., Tech Intern from the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media


Support our work

A donation helps expand the legal services we are able to provide to our clients and improve the academic experience for our students. Thank you very much for your continued support.

Donate to the Business Law Clinic

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Steven Wiser​

Founder: Prof. Julie D. Lawton

Instruction: This course is a combination of lecture, in-class discussion, skills instruction, and client counseling.
Number of Students: Maximum of 8 per academic year.
711 License: A 711 license is not required to participate in the Business Law Clinic.
Prerequisites: None.
Recommended Courses: Business Organizations and Business Fundamentals for Lawyers.
Eligibility: Only rising 2L and 3L students are eligible to apply. Evening students are admitted only in exceptional circumstances.