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MIT students have always been good at making things. Many of them are good at running things, too, from ambitious startups to the MIT $100K competition, which stands out among similar business-plan competitions for being entirely student run. Yet certain aspects of starting and running a new venture can be daunting even for the seasoned entrepreneur, and especially for those just starting out.

MIT president L. Rafael Reif

To help MIT student inventors and entrepreneurs get their enterprises off to a flying start, this fall we are delighted to launch an exciting collaboration with the Boston University School of Law. Through this new joint venture, BU is establishing two law clinics to help MIT and BU students answer the legal questions they face as innovators. The Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinic opened in September 2015, and the Technology and Cyberlaw Clinic is expected to open no later than fall 2016.

Nationally known for its outstanding intellectual-property program, the BU School of Law prides itself on a commitment to real-world, hands-on learning in a spirit very familiar to us at MIT. The clinics will provide independent legal counsel, free of charge, on a broad range of topics related to entrepreneurship and innovation, including entity formation and financing, intellectual property, contracts, data security, and cyberlaw. Our students will have access to both clinics—to be staffed by BU law students under the oversight of experienced BU law faculty—at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship on the MIT campus.

By providing our students with the legal guidance to navigate the complexities of starting and running a business, the clinics will give them the freedom and confidence to focus on what they do best: creating innovative ideas, technologies, and companies.

At MIT, we believe in our students’ potential to change the world, and we want to equip them with the tools to make an impact. These clinics will offer our students an important new resource for pursuing their dreams.

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