This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.
When starting a business, entrepreneurs are full of questions – financial, legal, marketing and more. A new program at Marquette University Law School will help small business owners get some of those answers.
The Law and Entrepreneurial Clinic will offer free legal help to entrepreneurs and business start-ups with a focus on clients who cannot afford legal counsel. Marquette law students will provide the services under the leadership of clinic director Nathan Hammons. He worked previously with entrepreneurs as a solo practitioner and was an adjunct professor at the college before joining it full-time to run the clinic and serves as a visiting clinical associate professor.
“I have a lot of contacts in the business community and kept hearing about the need for this kind of help,” Hammons says. “There’s a similar program in place in Madison using students from the University of Wisconsin School of Law and it made sense to do something like this here at Marquette. The response from the business community has been phenomenal.”
While the clinic won’t be operating at full strength until next September, there are a couple of students working under Hammons’ tutelage this semester.
“I’ve had more than 20 people call already asking for applications so they can receive our services,” he says.
New business owners deal with a variety of issues from deciding on what type of business entity to form, ownership issues, funding issues, contracts and licensure issues. For entrepreneurs with IP questions, Hammond says they will refer those cases out since it’s such a highly specialized field.