The Practicum

The Practicum is the centerpiece of the Law and Entrepreneurship Program.

During the spring semester, students work in startup companies, venture capital firms, regulatory agencies, law firms with entrepreneurial practices, and similar organizations.  The goal of the program is to expose students to a wide range of entrepreneurial issues in a “real-life” setting. 

The Practicum goes beyond general coursework to provide specific, useful skills and information.  It allows students to address the intersection of legal principles and practical business applications, in the context of entrepreneurship and early state enterprise.  Each student joins a legal or leadership team, under the supervision of a mentor who is committed to guiding his or her professional development through the course of the practicum. 

Through the Practicum, the students are able to be highly competent legal practitioners, savvy business people, effective problem solvers and are skilled in transforming ideas.

“One of my goals for the practicum was to work with a company that is in what I think of as the ‘exit stage’ of the entrepreneurial process.  It’s equally important for a public company to continue the innovation and growth process as it is for a young startup seeking venture capital funding. I picked a smaller company that grew rapidly and went public right before my practicum.  At this stage, the legal issues can become more complex and one must adapt to an entirely new set of responsibilities.”

– Brandon Bartee LLMLE'11
Learn more about Brandon


Examples of Previous Practicum Hosts

Practicum hosts vary each year depending on needs of the organizations and student interests. Here are some examples of previous practicum hosts.

>> Interested in hosting an practica student with your organization? Email us.

  • 8 Rivers Capital
    Develops and commercializes new technologies relating to energy, water, wireless communications and industrial processes.
  • AI Patents
    A revolutionary patent search engine that addresses the problem that the same idea can be described in multiple ways.
  • Automated Insights
    An artificial intelligence platform to sift through large data sets to spot interesting patterns, trends, and insights, and then describe those findings in plain English with the tone, personality, and variability of a human writer.
  • Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network
    Successful entrepreneurs and support staff utilize their experience to guide and support startups through company development covering a range of business growth needs.
  • Channel Advisor
    Provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable retailers and manufacturers to integrate, manage and optimize mechandise sales.
  • Clinipace
    A global digital contract research organization (dCRO), serving venture-backed, mid-tier, and strategic pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device firms.
  • CREE, Inc.
    Multinational manufacturer of semiconductor light-emitting diode materials and devices, with its headquarters in Durham, North Carolina.
  • Duke Office of Counsel
    Provides legal representation for Duke University, Duke University Health System, and Duke Support Corporations and Affiliates on a wide range of legal issues, including: academic matters, health care, intellectual property, corporate matters, finance, real estate, taxation, employment, privacy, security and crisis management. 
    • Duke Law Tech Lab
      Early stage legal tech accelerator through the Duke Center on Law & Tech
  • First Flight Venture Center
    One of the nation’s largest and most stable incubators, playing host to more than 37 high-science, high-impact companies annually.
  • Hatteras Venture Partners
    Venture capital firm based in Research Triangle Park, NC, with a focus on medical and biopharmaceuticals.
  • Hub Raleigh
    Entrepreneurial incubator and co-working space.
  • IDEA Fund Partners
    One of the most active seed and early stage venture investors in NC and throughout the Southeast. 

      Formerly SciQuest. Provides eProcurement solutions for contract management, procurement, and accounts payable professionals to make daily operations efficient through smart automation, and turn the focus on more strategic decisions that impact the bottom line.

    • Morningstar Law Group
      A business law firm that offers a suite of practices, including corporate, securities, real estate, land use, litigation and intellectual property.
    • Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
      Full service law firm, including specializations in public securities offering and venture capital financing.
    • NC IDEA
      Previously SoarTriangle and NC IDEA SOAR. Addresses the proven funding gap facing promising female entrepreneurs starting scalable businesses in the Triangle by connecting these women with advisors, colleagues, ideas and access to capital resources.
    • Red Hat
      Multinational software company providing open-source software products.
    • ReverbNation
      Provides music industry professionals, artists, managers, labels, venues, festivals/events with powerful, easy-to-use technology to promote and prosper online.
    • Royalty Exchange
      Online marketplace to buy or sell all types of royalties on an efficient, transparent and secure platform.
    • SAS
      World's largest business analytics and business intelligence software provider.
    • SJF Ventures
      Venture capital partnership focusing on the resource efficiency, sustainability and technology-enhanced services sectors.
    • Sports Endeavors, Inc.
      • A leading multi-sport, multi-channel retail company featuring globally-recognized brands for soccer, lacrosse, and rugby gear and uniforms.
      • Triangle Community Foundation
        Manages funds established by individuals, businesses and families. Gives grants to nonprofit organizations and administer a variety of programs for the community’s benefit.
      • UNC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development
        Works to strengthen UNC’s innovation ecosystem to meet the needs of faculty, students, staff, and community members as they translate their novel ideas into practical benefit and change the world.
  • WedPics
    Free photo sharing app for all of your wedding events.
  • Windsor Circle
    Award-winning provider of predictive lifecycle and retention marketing software and services for retailers.
  • Womble Bond Dickenson
    Serves a wide range of regional, national and international clients in industries that include health care, life sciences, financial services, commercial real estate, intellectual property/patent, and telecommunications, as well as educational institutions and governmental bodies and agencies.


 in the heart of the Research Triangle, a national hub for innovative business and technology

 known for interdisciplinary strength, faculty who are leaders in their fields, and ambitious research

 home to leading programs in intellectual property, environmental law and policy, international law, and business law and management