In the Business Law Clinic, third-year law students, working under the close supervision of a full-time law professor with vast transactional experience, represent the business clients. Students in the clinic have the unique opportunity to acquire skills, training, and experience essential to working successfully with business clients and thus, to bridge the gap between law school and the practice of law.
The Business Law Clinic is modeled after the structure of a transactional law firm and provides legal advice to businesses in the following critical areas:
- Business planning
- Entity selection and registration
- State and local business licenses
- Federal, state, and local tax issues
- Financing documentation and securities issues
- Leases and other commercial contracts
- Employment agreements
- Trademark and copyright registration, IP licensing agreements, and material transfer and non-disclosure agreements
- IP counseling regarding branding, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, freedom to operate, unfair competition, antitrust, publicity rights, and privacy rights
Through this model, the Business Law Clinic, in conjunction with the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is one of the cornerstones of the innovation ecosystem in the Knoxville area.
Students must have taken Fundamental Concepts of Income Taxation, Intro to Business Transactions, Business Associations, and Income Taxation of Business Organizations and must have taken or be taking Legal Profession and Contract Drafting to participate in the Business Law Clinic, although Intro to Business Transactions may be waived for students with sufficient business background. The Business Law Clinic is a six-credit course, offered during the fall and spring semesters.
As part of the college’s Business Clinic, students in the Trademark Clinic provides trademark legal services to independent inventors and small businesses on a pro bono basis. Students represent clients before the US Department of Commerce’s US Patent and Trademark Office under the guidance of a faculty supervisor experienced in trademark matters.