Legal Education

New Law School LLM Programs Teach Attorneys to Be Entrepreneurial

After a year of unprecedented BigLaw layoffs and pay cuts, Duke University is offering a new law school program that could help point some attorneys in a different direction.

Apparently starting this fall, the new Law and Entrepreneurship LLM Program will offer a two-semester post-Juris Doctor master’s degree to teach attorneys to be more entrepreneurial, according to a Duke press release. The program will be headed by professor James Cox, who is known for his corporate and securities law expertise, and will focus its curriculum on innovation, intellectual property, finance and business law and a practicum with in-house counsel or a law firm.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are central to efforts to create broad-based, sustained economic growth, as well as to solving complex social problems,” says law school Dean David Levi in the release. “In America and, increasingly, on a global basis, we look to the entrepreneurial sector for creativity and solutions. The ongoing economic shifts resulting from the crisis in the global capital markets are likely to accelerate this trend. As a result, we believe that this program, which focuses on how the law and lawyers can best support entrepreneurship, is extremely timely.”

A similar program is being launched at the University of Colorado, notes JD Journal.

“While it is common to find courses and clinics focused on entrepreneurship and emerging companies in a law school curriculum, the programs at Duke and Colorado would be the first LLM programs in the country to focus exclusively on the skills lawyers need to advise start-up companies or even become entrepreneurs themselves,” the law blog reports.

Additional coverage:

Wall Street Journal Law Blog: “Want to Become an Entrepreneur? Get a Degree in it, at Law School!”

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