Social and Business Entrepreneurship Practicum
(Cook, Anthony; field placement is pass/fail; 4 credits total)
The objective of this practicum is to explore the lawyer's role as counsel to entrepreneurs in early-stage ventures. In the 15 hr/wk field placement component, supervised by practicing attorneys, students research issues and advise student entrepreneurs affiliated with the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative as well as various community empowerment and economic development initiatives in the area. Students will typically develop a portfolio of 3-5 projects across the semester. In the classroom component, students survey the legal issues confronted by entrepreneurs and develop the practical skills to effectively and ethically represent them. Students study how to interview, counsel, plan, draft, and negotiate, by critiquing others and simulating those skills in the context of client matters and classroom exercises. They discuss client work through case rounds and seminar readings. Topics consist of the following: the entrepreneurial mindset; the issues confronted by social and business entrepreneurs—similarities and differences; evaluating the key elements of a business plan; choosing and forming the right business entity; ownership and control—aligning the interests of founders, key employees, and investors; governance issues—building and advising the board of directors; employment agreements; capital structure and vehicles for funding the entity; securing and monetizing intellectual property.