As we come to the end of summer, it seems like a good time to write the first blog post for the new Business Venture Clinic website. If you’re interested in all things start-up, stay tuned because students will be posting blogs on some of the more substantive legal issues facing new ventures once the new semester starts.
This was the first summer that the clinic had full-time students, so there were internal tasks to take care of–getting the website up was one of them–but we mostly kept busy doing what clinic students do, which is researching and drafting for clients. We must say that difficult as it may be to write a 10-page memo on a tricky question, the real challenge is keeping it strictly to legal information without stepping into the realm of legal advice. This is (one reason) why we have mentor lawyers. And, mentor us they did; not only pointing out where our drafts were getting a bit too close (or, occasionally well over the line) to giving legal advice, but also correcting typos and giving us pointers on the practice of law generally. The lawyers at BLG were always awesome about answering our questions and providing guidance.
Despite the reputation that universities have as being held together solely by a sticky mass of red tape, life at the Business Venture Clinic has been refreshingly... entrepreneurial. Not every client is the same (in fact, none of them are), so every day has been something new, and the focus has been on getting things done. Even getting things done internally, such as the launching the website, printing business cards and coordinating across departments, was surprisingly painless. The creative team did a great job with our brochures, and the design help that we got from Patrick Rennie (courtesy of the Hunter Centre at the Haskayne School of Business) was outstanding. Like most entrepreneurs, we had a lot of support from those around us. A quick pro tip for anyone working on a similar project at another university: Having knowledgeable people in your department who can liaise between you and university administration will make your life a lot easier – don’t be afraid to ask them! Calgary enjoys a reputation as an entrepreneurial city, and that ideal clearly extends deep into the university.
So, with that we sign off for the summer and wish the incoming students the best of luck. There’s been no shortage of community interest in the clinic and we’re confident that it will only get better as things pick up in the fall.
Blog posts are by students at the Business Venture Clinic. Student bios appear under each post.