Corporate Lab Transactional Clinic: Significant Accomplishments

October 25, 2013

The Corporate Lab Transactional Clinic successfully completed in excess of 60 projects during the 2012–2013 academic year in collaboration with companies including Accenture, Allstate, Baxter Healthcare, CDW, GE Capital, General Mills, IBM, Integrys Energy Group, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln Center, Microsoft, Nike, Northern Trust, Schreiber Foods, Sony Electronics, Verizon Communications, and various start-up companies in connection with the Booth School of Business New Venture Challenge. General Mills and Nike were recently added to the client roster, continuing the Lab’s focus on major corporations in diverse industries, and the Lab has also added Honeywell, Innova, and Schneider National as clients for the 2013–2014 year.

The Lab continues to be successful due in large part to the interesting projects and high-quality work that draw ambitious students and leading organizations to come together to collaborate on cutting-edge legal projects.

For example, the Corporate Lab completed the following projects over the past academic year, which comprise a representative sampling of the many work streams undertaken by the Lab:  Revised and reformulated a client’s form end-user license agreement, and recommended appropriate contracting entity within the client's corporate structure based on applicable legal research; Identified the most consumer-friendly terms among a client’s various terms of use and consolidated such terms into one better-functioning and more useable agreement; Analyzed various financial institutions’ proposed contractual terms in response to public investment funds’ requests for proposals relating to custodial services and other financial products; Drafted a client’s form easement agreement by reviewing the client's form easement agreements specific to several states, consolidated such agreements into a form applicable to all such states and otherwise revising the document; Researched corporate governance rules and guidelines promulgated by various exchanges and regulating bodies, and analyzed a client's comparative compliance within such rules and guidelines.

Beyond these substantive projects, the Corporate Lab has continued to host its very successful Speaker Series. The Speaker Series has given Lab students an oppor-tunity to hear from leading practitioners (from both law firms and in-house legal departments) on core areas of law (e.g., the fundamentals of a specific type of transaction), topical business-and-law issues, and those real-world concerns critical to young attorneys’ success (e.g., client development and networking). In addition to many other esteemed practitioners, the following legal and business leaders participated in the Speaker Series over this past academic year: Andrew S. Boutros (Assistant United States Attorney); Bill Brandt (President and CEO of Development Specialists, Inc. ); Michael Friedman (Managing Director at Ocean Tomo); Jeffrey Golden (Chairman of The P.R.I.M.E. Finance Foundation); Barbara Kolsun (Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Stuart Weitzman); and Steve Ritchie, Scott Falk and Jon Ballis (Kirkland & Ellis).

The Corporate Lab also launched the Corporate Law Fellowship program, through which recent Law School graduates work as paid fellows in the legal departments of major corporations. This year, two of the Lab’s clients, Microsoft and Baxter, have each accepted a graduating student as a fellow, and several other companies have expressed interest in participating in the future.

Furthermore, the Corporate Lab hosted the second annual Transactional Challenge for rising second-year law students to provide exposure to transactional practice during the students' first law school summer. Approximately 45 students registered for the Challenge, which allows students to compete against each other in a series of “real world” transactional corporate exercises. The Challenge also gives participating students an opportunity to network with senior in-house counsel and law firm partners as part of a post-competition reception in the fall.

Finally, this year saw the integration of the Corporate Lab into the Law School’s other clinical programs; the Lab's faculty is, of course, delighted by this.