The Notre Dame Legal Clinics are expanding their transactional services to the local business community in January with a new Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic headed by intellectual property lawyer Jodi Clifford, who joined the Law School this fall.
The IP clinic received seed money from Dean Nell Jessup Newton to fund its first three years of operation, and the president of the University, Rev. John I. Jenkins, has allocated another $450,000 from gifts made to the President’s Circle by University benefactors to further develop and sustain the clinic.
The new clinic will provide students an opportunity to work directly with clients on intellectual property issues and develop core lawyering skills that will be valuable when they launch their own careers.
“Students will get great experience and clients will get the benefit of pro bono assistance from the clinic,” said Clifford. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
Students will be involved in a range of activities that are typical of intellectual property law practices: patentability opinions, provisional patent applications, trademark clearance searches, trademark registrations, and technology licensing.
The clinic launch in January will be a pilot program involving four students. In the fall of 2012, the pilot program will expand to a full-size clinic, offering six to eight students the opportunity to work with clients under the close supervision of clinic faculty.
Professor Clifford comes to Notre Dame after 10 years as an intellectual property attorney, most recently at the law firm of Thompson Hine LLP in Cleveland.