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Supporting Enterprising Entrepreneurs

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In each of Villanova Law’s seven in-house clinics, students are the primary advocates for their clients—allowing them the opportunity to counsel, negotiate, draft legal documents and argue in court. But beyond practical experience, clinic students, like Alex Madrak ’15 and Brad Marcum ’15, connect with the community they serve.

As students of the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship—providing pro bono legal representation to entrepreneurs, small businesses and social ventures—last spring Madrak and Marcum represented a startup company in the 3D printing sector. The students were asked to develop a website terms of use and privacy policy. After consulting with the co-founders, Madrak and Marcum delivered tailored legal documents that met the company’s needs and accounted for the founders’ long-term goals. The experience was not only an education in tactical lawyering skills but also in the intangible lawyering values.

“The company's co-founders did not treat us like law students; they treated us like their attorneys with whom they tasked important and meaningful work,” said Madrak. “As the semester progressed, their business goals for our work evolved. I learned to embrace change—change course, change the objectives of the final product and change any feeling of self-doubt into one of confidence in being able to deliver a suitable product.”

He continued, that in the end, “we created a practical, usable and legally sound product that met the goals of our client. It instilled newfound confidence in my abilities to be an attorney.”

The terms of use and private policy went live on the company's site within days after delivery and have since proven their utility. In recent months, the company's database of online users has increased significantly, subsequently increasing the documents’ importance.

“Alex and Brad did an excellent job with our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Their research was sound, both documents cover everything needed, and they also did great work researching a few of the outstanding issues throughout the semester,” said one of the co-founders. “We're very pleased with the process and the final results.”

In concert with The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship, the Clinic advances Villanova Law’s commitment to educate lawyers who understand both the business of law and the needs of business clients. With support, supervision and individualized mentoring from faculty, students are vested with primary responsibility for advising both for-profit and non-profit enterprises on a diverse array of challenges common to launching, operating and growing sustainable businesses.