The Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project is the newest of 11 Student Practice Organizations at Harvard Law School and is providing free legal research and analysis for student-founded startups at Harvard and MIT.
The research is conducted by teams of four Harvard Law students, supervised by leading startup attorneys from firms including WilmerHale, Gunderson Dettmer, Cooley and Charles River Ventures. Sarah Reed ’91, general counsel of Charles River Ventures is the group’s new pro bono attorney supervisor.
Since its creation in the spring of 2011, HLEP has trained over 150 law students in working with clients, researching relevant legal questions and documenting results. HLEP members have the opportunity to apply their legal education in corporate, intellectual property, administrative, and labor law in addition to important skills of building and maintaining client relationships, working in teams, and implementing feedback from senior attorneys.
HLEP has attracted over 95 applications from student founders and completed over 30 legal research projects. Past HLEP clients include the winner of the 2012 President’s Challenge for Social Entrepreneurship (Vaxess) and a semi-finalist in the MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition (Peddl). Founders from Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have pursued ventures in improving vaccine transport, clean energy battery technology, developing imaging technology to protect soldiers in the field, among others.
Beyond contributing to the larger Harvard innovation ecosystem as a service provider, HLEP seeks to enrich the law school community as a gathering place for students interested in entrepreneurship. HLEP hosts speakers, workshops and mixers and provides information about related events and opportunities on a weekly basis. HLEP also coordinates with the Law School Transactional Law Clinic, the Cyberlaw Clinic, and the Harvard Innovation Lab.