Biotech Startup Clinic

The Biotech Startup Clinic is one of the UC Hastings Innovation Law Clinics. This clinic brings law students into the Bay Area bioscience startup community by having students work on intellectual property issues, particularly “Freedom to Operate” research issues, under the supervision of experienced patent lawyers in the field.  Currently, our students are working with Arnold & Porter, Fenwick & West, Pillsbury Winthrop, Kilpatrick Townsend, Morrison & Forster, and Wilson to deliver legal services to our biotechnology clients. This clinic accepts clients from one partner incubator: The Institute for Quantitative Biosciences.  This incubator performs the initial screening which allows us to select legal work that is appropriate for our teaching purposes. Any business entity that wishes to seek the clinic’s services should contact the incubator.


Open to: 5th or 6th semester students. Students must have a science background.

10 units: Yearlong, 2 unit non-GPA class component and 3 unit fieldwork component, graded pass-fail. Must be taken concurrently both semesters.

Prerequisites: Intellectual Property Survey or Patent Law

Classroom Component: Students will examine the substantive legal doctrines and skills they are applying in the field. Students will also have the opportunity to present and discuss their fieldwork for the group.

Fieldwork Component: Students will prepare intellectual property “freedom-to operate” analyses that will help the bioentrepreneurs focus their strategy and attract funding. This course will help students develop and apply transactional lawyering skills such as transaction planning and management, client interviewing and counseling, navigating conflict of interest issues, and legal research.

To enroll: Students should submit an application page, a resume, a list of courses completed, and a statement of interest to Lesley King in faculty support at  Please contact Professor Robin Feldman with questions at  The deadline for this application is April 12, 2013

About Innovation Law Clinics

The Innovation Law Clinics (ILC) is comprised of three clinics: the Biotech Startup Clinic, the Technology Startup Clinic, and the Social Enterprise Law Clinic. For more information on each, please see below.

About the ILC

Our goal is to teach students how to become partners in enterprise, not just the lawyers in the room, because the best business lawyers are those who understand the incentive structures that drive business organizations outside of and in addition to the legal regimes. Innovation Law Clinics will introduce and orient students to the materials, expectations, interactions, disciplines and vocabulary of transactional practice, particularly corporate and intellectual property practices.

For fieldwork students work on corporate and intellectual property projects for startups, social enterprises, non-profit organizations, and early stage life science inventors. The students legal work is supervised by experienced attorneys, including UC Hastings faculty and practicing attorneys from law firms with expertise in the field.

In the seminar component the students will examine in a more focused fashion the substantive legal doctrines and skills they are applying in the field. For the 2012-2013 academic year there are  2 clinic modules within the Innovation Law Clinics program: Biotech Startup Clinic focusing on intellectual property work for bioscience startups; Technology Startup Clinic, focusing on general corporate work for technology startups; and a Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic (launching Fall 2013).

Please contact Professor Lucy Dilworth with questions at