Watch: Real-World Experience through the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic

Selena Ng, UW Law class of 2021, is among numerous practicing lawyers in the Seattle legal market who are alumni of the UW Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. As a student, Selena pursued the hands-on, real-world experience offered by the Clinic in supporting small business and high-tech startup clients. She and another student assisted a military veteran studying at the Foster School of Business who started a company, Sound Sustainability, centered around an affordable, FDA-approved hearing device. They met regularly to strategize their client’s corporate organization and intellectual property creation, learning many valuable lessons about client relations along the way.

In this video, Selena shares why the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic gave her the most valuable experience she had at UW Law.

Read the transcript

My name is Selena. I was a Rule 9 Legal Intern with the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. I really wanted to get some hands-on experience working with clients in small businesses and high-tech startups right out of law school. I knew the clinic would be a great opportunity to start doing some real-world work in that space.

Sound Sustainability was a project started by a student at the business school at UW. He is a veteran, and he came up with this idea for an affordable, customizable hearing aid device that would be FDA-approved and sold over the counter. So, he had formed a company and was looking to take the next steps to make sure that his corporate organization was all in order, to make sure that he was set up for going to the next level with his business.

And then I had a partner in the Clinic, Tim, who worked on the IP aspects of his company, and I was more focused on corporate law. So, Tim and I would meet very regularly to go over what we were thinking about, strategy-wise, because a lot of times things like, things like IP creation touch upon some of the corporate aspects of a startup company.

I think an experience I had with the clinic that I really don't think is replicable outside of real-life legal practice is working with a lot of different types of clients. It was really helpful and a really great teaching moment to learn how to deal with, perhaps, some clients that are a little bit more difficult and figuring out creative ways to get them to be more responsive to your requests, or to sometimes have to let some clients down gently with some bad news.

I think that the clinic was probably the most helpful thing that I did in law school that prepared me for the practice I'm in now. There are some days where it feels like I am basically back in the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. I'm advising small business clients on their legal needs.

Since I started practicing, I started volunteering with a non-profit in town. It was really reminiscent of what I did with the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, providing small businesses with legal advice to help them solve some of their more common legal questions.

I think every UW Law graduate in my practice group at my current law firm did the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and I think it's a real testament to the success of the clinic and how valuable of an experience it is that there are a lot of practicing lawyers in the Seattle legal market who are alumni of this program.