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National Law Student Magazine Ranks Cincinnati 13th in Nation for Practical Training


Cincinnati Law’s new clinic will add practical options as it helps start-ups with patent and trademark questions while training students in skills they need to land high-demand jobs.

Date: 3/21/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Elissa Yancey
Phone: (513) 307-5944
Photos By: Lisa Ventre/UC Creative Services

UC ingot  
After five years, University of Cincinnati Law professor Lew Goldfarb and his students are familiar faces at Over-the-Rhine start-up staples like The Brandery, Mortar, First Batch, and the Hamilton County Development Center in Norwood. 

They huddle around whiteboards with budding—and bleary-eyed—CEOs, just down the hall from the ping-pong table and beer taps that have come to define the start-up ecosystem. Students accepted into Cincinnati Law’s Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC) advise founders about business structures, compliance issues and contracts—all at no cost for the up-and-coming clients. 

Starting this fall, Cincinnati Law students will be able to do even more to support the local start-up scene with the launch of a Patent and Trademark Clinic, directed by top legal professionals and poised to fill a need that ECDC director Goldfarb said continues to grow. It will be the only law school clinic of its kind in the state of Ohio, he said.

Goldfarb said that more than half of the 240 ECDC clients have asked for help with trademark or patents. They have often had to go without that help because they can’t afford the services of an intellectual property lawyer.

“Our new clinic is really a natural evolution of our work with start-ups and small businesses throughout the region,” said Goldfarb. He noted that the clinic’s students will work alongside clinic co-directors Steven Goldstein and Lori Krafte, local lawyers who have long and distinguished careers in the practice of IP law.

Cincinnati Law Dean Jennifer Bard said that the new clinic exemplifies one of the college’s many strengths: giving students distinctive real-world opportunities that can help them land jobs while helping business owners succeed. “Not only will we be able to give our region’s entrepreneurs an important competitive advantage, we’ll also give our students hands-on experiences in a thriving sector of the legal world,” she said.

The announcement of the clinic, set to accept its first students in fall 2017, comes on the heels of Cincinnati Law’s jump in national rankings by The National Jurist, a magazine designed for current and prospective law school students. 

In an issue devoted to “Why Practical Training Matters,” the publication noted Cincinnati’s rise into the top 20 schools ranked nationwide. In its cover story, the magazine highlighted the growing importance of preparing law school students for jobs by giving them real-world experience, and quoted student Sarah Ambach, Dean Bard and associate dean and director of the Center for Professional Development Mina Jones Jefferson. 

Goldfarb said that the Patent and Trademark Clinic, which will be housed at the law school, will be particularly helpful to start-ups with great ideas and products but few resources to provide legal protections for them. Under the guidance of expert lawyers, students in their second and third years of law school will be able to “take ‘first chair’ on interesting and relevant matters that are critical to protecting client’s intellectual property, and, which, for the most part, can be completed during the course of a semester,” he said.
Cincinnati Law at The Brandery
Cincinnati Law clinic students regularly work with award-winning entrepreneurs at The Brandery in OTR.

He noted that students can help clients with a wide range of trademark and patent issues, including:
analysis and opinions on patent and trademark registrability
completion of patent applications (provisional and non-provisional)
completion of federal trademark applications and copyright registrations
analysis and opinions on patent, trademark and/or copyright infringement
assistance on responding to office actions of the USPTO
preparation, review and/or negotiation of IP licenses
general IP advice.

The Patent and Trademark Clinic will be accepting applications for services in fall 2017 beginning June 1. Visit law.uc.edu/clinics/ptc, email ptcclinic@uc.edu for details.