UNC School of Law recently received a $1.53 million gift from the Kenan Trust to create an entrepreneurship program. The North Carolina General Assembly has also allocated $465,000 in recurring funds to sustain the program.
The program will provide legal services and guidance for local entrepreneurs with emerging companies while also providing hand-on training for students in the law school. Due to the low budget most start-ups face, legal counsel can be hard to find. This program seeks to benefit both participating entrepreneurs and law students.
“This gift and challenge from the Kenan Charitable Trust will catapult UNC School of Law onto the cutting edge of legal education,” said Larry Robbins, a partner at an entrepreneurial law firm in Raleigh, in a statement. “From my own experience representing clients in mergers and acquisitions and startups, there is a great need for legal advice at the earliest stages.”
The Trust’s gift will fund a for-profit ventures clinic, an intellectual property clinic and the Community Development Law Clinic. Each of these three clinics will be able to train eight to 10 students per semester. In these clinics, the students will be able to work with and provide advice to working entrepreneurs and their startups.
“We recognize that student education doesn’t just happen in the classroom and we are excited to support the entrepreneurship program that will train law students while strengthening North Carolina communities and the state’s economy,” said Douglas Zinn, executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, in a statement.