The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP today announced that it has partnered with The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law to launch a new legal clinic focused on supporting newly established businesses and entrepreneurs. Law students will have the opportunity to counsel start-up businesses on how to protect their inventions and innovations.
The Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic represents a significant clinical partnership between a law school and a law firm, and responds to the need for increased practical skills training in areas where legal employment is growing. Students in the clinic will act as junior attorneys representing start-up companies, supervised by Arizona Law faculty and experienced attorneys from Quarles & Brady. The firm has committed to sustaining the project for the next two years.
The new IP clinic will advise start-up clients on how to protect their intellectual property, obtain venture funding and commercialize their innovations. The clinic builds on Arizona Law’s strengths in intellectual property and information law.
“Quarles has a strong history of working with inventors, universities and research institutions across the country to develop strategies for protecting and commercializing their discoveries,” said Quarles & Brady partner Brad Vynalek, a leader on Quarles’ Research Institutions team and the current University of Arizona Law College Alumni association President. “Our team is doing such great work to help universities and medical research facilities in the areas of patent strategy, prosecution and commercialization across the country. For instance, in Maricopa County we are very active with the start-up and the university community; it will be great for statewide economic development to do more work in Southern Arizona where our firm has one of the largest concentrations of IP attorneys, including four patent attorneys who have Ph.D.’s in a wide range of disciplines. The truth is, I was on a trip meeting with alumni in San Francisco with the Dean and we were talking about Quarles’’ depth in helping universities and start-ups. So, it is pretty neat to ‘see an idea hatch in Silicon Valley’ and bring it to fruition and see it come to life in my home state of Arizona.”
“It is exciting for all of us who have worked to move the clinic from idea to reality to see it come to life. I am honored to have this opportunity to mentor law school students who will help advise and develop the start-up companies of the future,” said Gavin Milczarek-Desai, the co-managing partner of the Quarles & Brady Tucson office. Milczarek-Desai, who earned his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona and his JD from the James E. Rogers College of Law, is a key member of the firm’s Research Institutions Industry Team, where he serves universities and medical research facilities in the areas of patent strategy, prosecution and commercialization across the country.
“Arizona has a vibrant start-up scene,” said Dean Marc L. Miller, “and this new venture highlights the deep connections between the law school and a world-class research university that constantly produces advances in technologies, from computer software to optics to biomedicine.” Miller also noted that building community and professional partnerships “is a key goal for our institutional and economic sustenance.”