College News and Events
Arizona Law and Quarles & Brady Partner to Launch Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic
Law students at the College of Law will soon be counseling start-up businesses on how to protect their inventions and innovations. On March 11, 2014, the law school, partnering with Quarles & Brady, a national law firm with a major intellectual property (IP) practice, launched a new legal clinic focused on helping newly established businesses and entrepreneurs.
The clinic represents a significant clinical partnership between a law school and a law firm, and responds to the need for increased practical skills training in areas where legal employment is growing. Students in the clinic will act as junior attorneys representing start-up companies, supervised by Arizona Law faculty and subject matter experts from Quarles & Brady. The new clinic will advise start-up clients how to protect their intellectual property, obtain venture funding, and commercialize their innovations. Quarles & Brady has committed to sustaining the project for the next two years.
“Arizona Law’s mission is to develop practice-ready graduates, and intellectual property is a hot area both in Arizona and nationally,” said Professor Derek Bambauer, faculty supervisor for the clinic. “It will give students invaluable real-world experience with IP, under the supervision of a talented team of seasoned lawyers from Quarles & Brady.” Bambauer noted that start-up companies, while dynamic and innovative, are frequently cash poor at the time they are established. “This makes it difficult for them to afford the legal assistance they need to protect their property. The clinic will narrow the gap, to the benefit of the students, the companies, and ultimately the state,” he said.
“Quarles has a strong history of working with inventors, universities and research institutions to develop strategies for protecting and commercializing their discoveries,” said Gavin Milczarek-Desai, a managing partner of the Quarles Tucson office. Gavin, who earned his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona and his JD from the James E. Rogers College of Law, is a key member of the firm’s Research Institutions Industry team where he serves universities and medical research facilities in the areas of patent strategy, prosecution and commercialization across the country. “It is exciting for all of us who have worked to move the clinic from idea to reality to see it come to life. I am honored to have this opportunity to mentor law school students who will help advise and develop the startup companies of the future.”
“Arizona has a vibrant start-up scene,” said Dean Marc L. Miller, “and this new venture highlights the deep connections between the law school and a world-class research university that constantly produces advances in technologies from computer software to optics to biomedicine.” Miller also noted that building community and professional partnerships “is a key goal for our institutional and economic sustenance.”
The new IP clinic builds on Arizona Law’s strengths in intellectual property and information law. The school’s faculty includes Derek Bambauer, whose research involves IP and cyberlaw; Visiting Assistant Professor Shun-Ling Chen, an expert in international IP; Associate Professor Jane Bambauer, a nationally-recognized leader in privacy and Big Data research; and adjunct Professor Larry Hecker, who leads the Business Law Exchange partnership with the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management.