Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the finest education systems in the world, has always encouraged its study body to turn their most prized side projects into businesses whenever the opportunity presents itself. Despite always giving students the ‘green light’ when it comes to awakening their inner entrepreneur, the primary hurdle many students were forced to overcome were the legal obstacles that come with starting your own business; until now.
As of this week, MIT has started a partnership with Boston University’s law school as a way of providing students with free legal advice and representation when needed.
“There is this increasing interest among our students to engage in innovation and entrepreneurial activities,” stated MIT chancellor, Cynthia Barnhart. “MIT students needed exactly these kinds of services,” Barnhart continued.
Operated entirely by BU law students, the clinic helps provide intellectual property protection and avoid potentially dangerous loopholes in the legal system.
Jeremy Rubin, an MIT student who has used the services had the following to say:
“For students who are working on really innovative things, they need to be able to show people what they’re working on– Making those resources available will be immensely helpful.”
Several other institutions have seen had a similar influx in legal aid as well. Numerous law schools across the US have opened up similar practices around their campuses to provide law students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge learned in the classroom to real cases in the field of entrepreneurship and business.
“These clinics are growing because there’s an unmet need,” stated James Greif, spokesman for the Association of American Law Schools. He continued by saying “Patent applications have tripled over the last 20 years, and small businesses make up about half of the private sector in the U.S.”
The idea of free legal consultation on campuses across the country may just be the motivation many college students need to pursue their grand vision of being an independent business owner even before having completed their degree. While it is easy to see how challenging the balance between student and professional life can be from just about anyone’s perspective, this new resource should certainly prove useful to both parties involved.
Would you be more inclined to pursue a business venture knowing that you have a free lifeline of legal aid to tap into? Tweet us your thoughts @StarterNoise using the hashtag #FreeLegalAdvice