CUBE: Where the Law and Entrepreneurship Meet
Brooklyn Law School’s Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship, or CUBE, is a hub for exploring legal issues surrounding entrepreneurship, and for providing effective legal representation and support for new commercial and not-for-profit businesses — while also training the next generation of business lawyers to advise and participate in these sectors. CUBE is led by Executive Director Paul Gangsei, an experienced practitioner who joined BLS from the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.
CUBE Faculty and Legal Services
Since it was launched in November of 2013, CUBE has knitted together and bolstered Brooklyn Law School’s transactional clinics in order to expand client services and to increase the clinics’ involvement in economic development and housing policy issues. The Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy Clinic (BLIP) is led by Jonathan Askin, its Founder and Director who is an Innovation Catalyst as well as the Chair of the CUBE Faculty Advisory Committee . Through CUBE, the BLIP clinic faculty has added an additional full-time Professor, Marjorie White, an adjunct professor, Serge Krimnus, who focuses on patent applications through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s law school program and an additional adjunct professor, Phil Weiss, who focuses on tech-oriented practice and policy issues. Another new full-time professor added through CUBE, Ted De Barbieri, joined BLS from the Urban Justice Center and is leading a new Urban Economic Development Clinic that expands on the programs and services of the Community Development Clinic, directed by CUBE’s Research Director, David Reiss and the Corporate and Real Estate Clinic directed by Debra Bechtel who is CUBE’s Deputy Director.
CUBE programming includes the CUBE Consultation Center, a brief advice clinic for small businesses, launched in October of 2014. Through this program, student leaders, alumnae and faculty team together to provide much-needed free legal consultations to community small business owners and operators in evening sessions. The Center will travel to various neighborhoods of Brooklyn with a focus on reaching start-ups and new businesses run by women and owners from immigrant and diverse backgrounds.
CUBE and students who trained to work in the Consultation Center also served as co-sponsor for the Small Business Legal Academy which provided consultations at BLS for more than 140 small business individuals and not-for-profit organizations.
More Connections, More Learning
Discussions and presentations about cutting edge business and economic development policy issues are a consistent part of CUBE’s program. For example, City Council Member Brad Lander has discussed land use and housing in the deBlasio era with students, community members and alumnae, developer Andrew Kimball has spoken about revitalizing New York’s industrial waterfront and Karen Brooks Hopkins, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, has been interviewed on the arts as an engine for economic and cultural development. CUBE has joined and will join with BLIP, the Trade Secrets Institute, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and others to co-sponsor additional symposia, panel discussions, educational programs and other events.
The BLS faculty approved a CUBE-sponsored proposal to create a Certificate in Entrepreneurship Law. A new course, the Law of Entrepreneurship, has been added to augment the business boot camp, offered in January of each year, and other law school curriculum offerings.
CUBE began a yearly innovator competition in 2014 which gives law students the opportunity to pitch business ideas addressing legal issues to judges and potentially to receive seed money. Participants as well as winners receive faculty and alumni mentoring.
BLIP director Jonathan Askin is working with a consortium of four core law schools, and a growing number of active European law school satellite partners, to build iLINC, a network of incubator policy and tech law programs working with the burgeoning startup and entrepreneur communities throughout Europe.