Start-Up Ventures Clinic

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The Start-Up Ventures Clinic offers students an experience that combines the Law School’s commitment to entrepreneurial education with a chance to gain valuable practical training.

The clinic provides legal advice and assistance to entrepreneurs and to seed and early stage ventures that have not yet raised significant amounts of outside capital in a wide variety of legal matters including company formation, intellectual property protection, commercialization strategies, and operational issues. Student-attorneys work with actual clients from the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem on Duke's campus and in the broader community. Supervising professors give guidance on legal issues; for complicated transactional questions, students also can draw on advice from attorneys at local law firms.

Duke’s prime location in the Research Triangle – one of the nation’s most dynamic centers for entrepreneurship – makes it an exciting place to advise start-ups while they’re still in the germination phase. Several clients have moved on to well-known incubator and accelerator programs and others have launched a product or service.


I knew that dealing with clients was not something I would get to do much as a young associate. The clinic enabled me to do that, and learn to speak more confidently about complicated legal concepts in a way that makes sense to an average person.

Victoria Dodev '19

Clinic Faculty

Bryan McGann

Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Start-Up Ventures Clinic


Michael Murphy

Clinical Professor of Law
Supervising Attorney, Start-Up Ventures Clinic


Course Description
Student making presentation
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Start-Up Ventures Clinic, 441
The Start-Up Ventures Clinic represents entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses and social ventures on a variety of matters related to the start-up process, including formation, founder equity and vesting, shareholder agreements, intellectual property protection and licensing agreements, commercialization strategies, and other issues that new enterprises face in their start-up phases.

Interested in becoming a client?

The Spring 2023 docket application for the Start-Up Ventures Clinic is now open! Accepted applicants will be assigned in January of 2023.   

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Clinic Director, Bryan McGann, at