The best part? Witnessing the excitement on clients' faces when they explain their business idea to me and knowing that my work positively affects them.
— Zoe Wong, JD ’17 and former ELC Student

About the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic

The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) is an innovative clinic serving entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. The ELC teams law and business students with pro bono attorneys and business advisors. Together they provide critical early stage legal and business counseling to technology entrepreneurs, small business owners, social entrepreneurs, nonprofits and University of Washington and Institute for Translational Health Sciences faculty researchers. By providing such counseling, the ELC has become one of the cornerstones of the innovation ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest. The ELC also partners with CoMotion, Life Science Washington and various community organizations to give presentations on various topics of interest to startups that are open to the public.


The ELC is a transactional and counseling clinic. Our services center on providing startups with a comprehensive "legal and business audit" that will help them identify issues before they become serious problems. We provide startups with a confidential report, generally at the end of the academic quarter. This report will also provide guidance on how to proceed to remedy potential problems and/or establish systems to limit or prevent standard business formation and growth pitfalls. Our standard representation includes a commitment only to this audit process.

Upon mutual written agreement between the startup and ELC, we may extend our representation to assist in basic entrepreneurship-focused legal service, such as:

  • Forming a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or other legal business entity as appropriate
  • Filing simple intellectual property (IP) documents such as provisional patent applications, copyright registrations and trademark registration applications
  • Reviewing, negotiating and/or drafting contracts such as commercial leases and loans, vendor agreements, services agreements or employment agreements
  • Assisting in compliance with state and local business licenses and taxes
  • Drafting and execution of trademark and copyright registrations, provisional patent applications and licensing or assignment agreements
  • IP counseling regarding branding, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, freedom to operate, unfair competition, antitrust, publicity rights and privacy rights. The ELC is part of the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program in both patents and trademarks.

Related Publications

  • Jennifer S. Fan, Catching Disruption: Regulating Corporate Venture Capital, Colum. Bus. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2018)
  • Jennifer S. Fan, Regulating Unicorns: Disclosure and the New Private Economy, 57 B.C. L. Rev. 583-642 (2016)
  • Jennifer S. Fan, Coming of Age: Innovation Districts and the Role of Law Schools, 22 Clinical L. Rev. 91-112 (2015)
  • Jennifer S. Fan, Institutionalizing the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program for Transactional Law Clinics, 19 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 327-59 (2015)