PUBLISHED:October 25, 2011

Colin Kirby LLMLE'11

Meet Colin Kirby: A 2010 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and New York City native, he holds a BA in political science from the University of California (Santa Barbara).

1. What has been your favorite thing about Duke's Law and Entrepreneurship LLM so far?
I have been most pleased with the way the program is so vastly different from law school. The things we are focusing on are completely hands-on, and applicable to the effective counsel of startups. We have spoken personally and at length with a number of venture capitalists, in-house attorneys, and attorneys working for specialized startup firms. I have counseled and am working with undergrad startups. I am working with PhDs in medicine and engineers to develop healthcare technologies. This program is truly what you make of it. If you are intent on throwing yourself into the mix and care about understanding entrepreneurship law, the opportunities at Duke Law, Fuqua, and other programs are endless.

2. How has Duke Law surprised you?
I’ve been surprised by how different Duke Law is from where I went to law school. There is a real community here — people are passionate about their futures, but they are also very approachable and easy to talk to.

3. What have you learned about the entrepreneurial community in Durham and The Research Triangle?
I was fairly ignorant of RTP (Research Triangle Park) when I came here. I knew that it was a hub of innovative research, aligned with the area’s academic institutions. But the community is much more than that, being home to many early-stage companies that are working with some of the most exciting technology on the planet. A surprising amount of the country’s problems are being addressed here, and an exciting amount of wealth will be created here.

4. Describe one of the extracurricular programs or interdisciplinary courses you’re involved in.
I am in a course cross-listed with the business school and the engineering school. I am the only person in the class with a legal background. We are evaluating technology that, to varying degrees, is owned by Duke University and can be used in the health care arena. In the first semester each group in the class narrows five technologies down to one. In the second semester, we create business plans (and often actual businesses) around the selected technologies.

5. What advice do you have for new LLMLE students?
Get yourself into everything. Go to the lunches, network and meet successful attorneys and VCs in the area, read about tech in the RTP, participate in the Duke Startup Challenge, take difficult courses, familiarize yourself with Fuqua. This school and this region are so special, you must take advantage of what is before you.