UCC Connects Start-ups To Free Legal Advice
26th November 2015
UCC has become the first university in Ireland to offer free legal information to startups with the launch of its new IT Law Clinic.
Twelve postgraduate law students work together with academic staff and established law firms including McCullagh Wall, Ronan Daly Jermyn and O’Dowd Solicitors, responding to legal questions from start-ups, from protecting copyright to ensuring websites comply with data protection law.
“The new IT Law Clinic at UCC provides a badly needed resource for fledgling technology startups in the region. Legal issues are unfortunately something that many startups avoid in their early days because of perceived cost and complexity issues,” said DC Cahalane, founder of BUILTINCORK, a community initiative to aid the development of Cork technology startups.
The clinic’s co-directors, Dr Darius Whelan and Professor Maeve McDonagh from UCC’s School of Law, are aiming to bring together the talent within the Irish startup scene and the university.
“Startups don’t have the funds to pay for expensive legal services, so by providing free information we save them that extra expense. We hope that this service will reduce legal barriers for innovative startups and drive startup growth,” said Professor McDonagh.
The IT Law Clinic at UCC, part of iLINC, the European Network of Law Incubators, collaborates with successful, established IT clinics in cities including Amsterdam, Hamburg and New York.
“We saw that the model of free legal information for startups works really well in other countries and decided to apply that model in Ireland here at UCC,” McDonagh added.
(Pictured are law students Susana Eloisa Rizo Mender; Tim Hoefuagels and Dr Darius Whelan of the UCC School of Law.)