In-House Counsel/IP: Practicum

(Formerly: CIS: Corporate Counsel/Intellectual Property)

Limit: 10 students total

Corporate in-house counsel attorneys are employees of their respective clients. By necessity, most in-house counsel are generalists and must possess fluency in a number of areas such as contracts, corporate governance, litigation, intellectual property, licensing, international issues, employment law and regulatory compliance. In their capacity as “employee lawyers”, in-house counsel can occupy a unique and necessary role within any mature or growing business.

This seminar is intended as a practicum. For students aspiring to work in-house, it will provide familiarity with the environment in which in-house counsel work, and the types of challenging issues they face on a day-to-day basis. The seminar also is suitable for those wishing to work at law firms. In order to better serve their corporate clients, outside counsel must understand the challenges, and align themselves with the objectives, of the in-house counsel that hire (and fire) them.

Each student will be placed as an intern in the legal department of a local corporation or nonprofit. The objective is to enable students to experience and observe the practice of law from the perspective of in-house counsel. Students will be expected to assist in-house lawyers with document drafting, meetings, negotiation, research, litigation and/or other tasks. Most placements will require the student to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and some will require a drug test and background screen. During the semester, students must log at least 10 hours per week to receive credit (at least 8 hours per week for the internship and 2 hours per week in class).

The seminar is participatory in nature and attendance is mandatory. Heavy emphasis is placed on drafting exercises, issue spotting (both commercial and legal) and analysis. Certain sessions contain survey level coverage of areas of law often encountered by corporate counsel.

Enrollment in this seminar is limited to 10 students. Applicants will be screened through their resumes and transcripts, possibly followed by phone or in-person interviews. Due to the rigorous placement criteria of participating companies, a minimum Law School GPA of 3.0 is required. All accepted students will be required to attend a two hour “boot camp” preparatory seminar class in the Fall.

To apply, submit a resume and transcript to the Registrar by the deadline for registration.

Recommended: Regulation and Ethics of Lawyers or Earthrise Ethics