Startup Law (formerly Entrepreneus. Law)

Startup Law exposes students, through practical experience, rigorous scholarship and policy analysis, to the diverse legal issues that are encountered by for-profit and nonprofit start-ups and growing businesses/organizations. Effective founding and growth strategies for entrepreneurial ventures require a holistic understanding of a variety of substantive areas of law. The course of study will exemplify the multi-disciplinary nature of startup law by following a company, organization or venture from its inception through operation to maturity and perhaps to disposition or transformation. Each week of the course (and each chapter of the course materials) will address material that could constitute - and almost certainly does constitute - at least one independent legal course. These areas will include entity choice and formation, intellectual property, financing, employment law, contracting and operational issues, data privacy and security, real estate, disputes/litigation, corporate social responsibility and eventually, in many cases, exit strategies. While much entrepreneurial activity occurs in the commercial business sector (including the burgeoning technology sector in Brooklyn), this course will also address new entities and ventures organized as not-for-profit corporations. The unique characteristics of these different types of organizations will be examined from a foundational understanding of traditional business entities. The Class will explore the practical aspects of counseling and/or starting a business enterprise The traditional lectures will include class discussion and be enhanced with several "Workshops". The format for the Workshops will consist of the presentation of a fact pattern requiring students to engage in an activity such as mock contract negotiations or other real-life exercise. At the outset of the course each student will be asked to create a fictional startup business enterprise in an industry/field that is of interest to the student. The student will then create a Business Plan for that startup entity during the semester and, later, each student will be required to make an Oral Presentation about the Business Plan and its legal requirements to the other students and the Professor. Finally, the student will prepare and submit a detailed Legal Memorandum outlining the legal issues confronting the entity that has been created by the student which will incorporate the topics addressed in class. There will not be a final written exam.