Marquette Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic

In late 2014, Marquette University Law School launched a Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic (LEC), a new experiential learning opportunity for law students that enhances the Law School’s commitment to public service.

It’s the first program in the Milwaukee area to offer free legal services to startup businesses and entrepreneurs, with a focus on clients who cannot afford qualified legal counsel. The LEC is staffed by Marquette law students, who receive hands-on training in business law under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

The LEC is led by Nathan Hammons, a full-time visiting clinical associate professor and director of the clinic. Hammons previously served as an adjunct professor at the Law School while operating his own private law practice in Milwaukee, where he represented early-stage entrepreneurs and small businesses with a focus on tech startups in Southeast Wisconsin.

The LEC operates in similar fashion to pro bono programs offered through the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, where law students partner with volunteer working attorneys.

But unlike other Marquette pro bono programs, where attorneys and students volunteer to provide brief legal advice to individuals, students in the LEC earn curricular credit and serve clients over the course of months or possibly longer.

Clients are selected based on a wide range of criteria, including access to legal services, educational fit, and potential to help the local economy. The LEC provides legal services to its clients in many key areas, with a focus on the following matters:

  • business entity selection and formation
  • corporate governance
  • funding/financing
  • business contracts
  • employment
  • business licenses and permits
  • trademark, copyright, and other basic intellectual property matters
  • commercial leases

Clients needing help with patents, a specialized area of the law, will be referred to other attorneys. The clinic does not handle litigation or other matters outside the normal scope of legal services for new businesses.

Entrepreneurs may apply for the LEC's services by completing the LEC Application for Legal Services form and emailing it to