Bringing what students learn in the classroom to life
Clinical Legal Education
Real world and practical experience with impact
Legal Clinics foster a sense of social responsibility in the legal profession and highlight the value of the service it provides to the community.
The Legal Clinic at IE Law School was launched in 2014 with the aim of bringing the School’s students closer to the professional practice of lawyering by working pro bono. Legal clinics, which have emerged and have become very popular in the United States, are an innovative way to teach Law through practice.
Through the Legal Clinic, undergraduate and postgraduate students provide legal service to NGOs and Startups with the advice and guidance of professors and lawyers. Our Clinic advises on legal aspects of social projects around the world (for instance, in Africa, Latin America and Spain).
The legal areas in which legal advice is offered are very diverse, from the protection of human rights to the compliance with current data protection regulations, and questions regarding contract and property law.
The main clients of the Legal Clinic are international NGOs, as well as startups founded by entrepreneurs from various economic sectors. A large number of global law firms collaborate with the Legal Clinic, teaching and supporting students in this practical activity.
What is the IE Legal Clinic?
The Legal Clinic is an IE Law School program that provides hand-on experience to law students through the pro bono practice. Startups, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, foundations and other organizations benefit from our students’ legal services.
The students’ work is supervised by either a practicing lawyer or an internal professor. Each project is assigned to a team composed of one or more undergraduate students and a LL.M. student.
What skills will students acquire at the IE Legal Clinic?
The students that participate in the Legal Clinic have real hands on experience from the very first day. This enables them to work on their legal research skills, drafting and presentation capabilities, as well as critical thinking, creativity in finding solutions, ability to work independently and as part of a group and to interact with different legal stakeholders (clients and lawyers). Furthermore, it provides students with a wider vision of Law, by offering a variety of projects, which fall under different areas.
Why is IE’s Legal Clinic program unique?
IE´s Legal Clinic program is unique because it provides students as early as year 1 with the opportunity to work on real cases with LL.M. students, prestigious law firms and clients, getting first-hand experience in providing research and legal advice.
In addition, many of our projects have an international element: this is a unique feature of the IE Legal Clinic, which is aligned with the values of IE University. Indeed, most of our students are international and the undergraduate programs follow a comparative law methodology that enables them to deal with cross-border cases.
hours of pro-bono work are expected
Clients and Foundations
Law firm: Latham & Watkins
This is an on-line incubation software for entrepreneurs to develop their business together with a mentor. Based on the information that entrepreneurs provide in their application, they are matched (taking into account language, interests, and expertise) with one of their mentors who provides insight and feedback throughout the business development process. The online workspace assists the entrepreneur in developing the venture helped by the mentor.
Geography is the largest barrier for entrepreneurs not located in major innovation hubs. Bridge for Billions bridges this gap by providing an online incubator that connects early-stage start-ups with training and mentors. Ultimately, this creates an impact in each of the entrepreneur’s communities. They have been awarded for social entrepreneurship in Forbes 30 under 30.
The Legal Clinic role in this project was to review the mentorship agreement and to draft a report on dispute resolution, data protection and applicable law aspects of Bridge for Billions activity.
Law firms: Álvaro Urcola, Gómez Acebo y Pombo, and Alberto Mata, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG
A project whose goal is to find innovative legal means for the sustainable financing of social entities, such as social impact bonds. The students were engaged in researching and drafting a report on this financing means and its implementation in Spain, under the supervision of the Foundation and lawyers specialized in banking and capital markets law.
Law firms: Ashurts and Dentons
This is a social entrepreneurship project which intends to implement an on line virtual platform that connects refugees with enterprises and look for the better match in order to foster their integration in the host countries, an idea already working in Austria.
There were several sets of legal issues at stake, supervised by two different law firms (depending on their respective expertise): (i) migration law: who and under what conditions is allowed to work in Spain; (ii) Personal data; (iii) trademark law (how to register, price, rights attached), (iv) corporate law: options to implement the idea (through a branch or a subsidiary, procedures needed in each case and money to be spent); (v) other issues related to the use of the service through the platform, for instance the terms and conditions.
Law firm: Pérez-Llorca
Social entrepreneur which provides assistance to asylum seekers by helping them to start their own business in rural areas. The access to information and advice in such places as to what a refugee can and cannot do during the asylum process is not easy. Our students are drafting a report on that matters.
Law firm: Latham & Watkins
NGO which brings virtual reality and other technologies to hospitalized children, elderly or disabled people. Our students are working to obtain the “declaración de utilidad pública”. In addition, Voluntechies has required the Legal Clinic to analyze its organization and determine whether they should reincorporate as a sociedad de responsabilidad limitada or what is the more efficient solution.
Law firms: Hogan and Elzaburu
NGO working with biometrics software, which faces difficulties as regards processing personal data both in Spain and through their partners in other jurisdictions. The students are drafting a comparative law report on data protection in Spain, India, Sierra Leona, Colombia, Perú and México.
Legal Clinic collaborators
Below are some of the clients and foundations in collaboration with the IE Legal Clinic.
Additionally, students work with the IEU Startup, Social Impact and International Relations Labs as well as the IE Venture Lab (Area 31). More foundations include the Legal Response Initiative (London-based), Areteia, Fundación Cuidados Dignos, Asociación de Padres con Niños Prematuros (APREM), among others.
The Legal Clinic is a unique initiative that embeds the best practices of the Law School. It provides legal assistance to NGOs, Foundations and Entrepreneurs following a comparative and global law methodology, which is distinct and uncommon in the market – although a hallmark of IE.
Director of the IE Legal Clinic
The university’s signs of identity are also reflected in the hands-on experience that students from every legal degree (undergraduate and Masters) acquire working in teams under the supervision of experienced practicing lawyers. As a result, the Legal Clinic equips students with the tools required to excel in their professional lives.
Francisco de Elizalde
Director of the IE Legal Clinic
Each project is supervised either by a practicing lawyer or by an internal professor
Attorneys & supervisors (how they are able to participate)
We regularly collaborate with law firms such as Ashurst, Latham & Watkins, Garrigues, Pérez-Llorca, Ramón y Cajal, DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells, Dentons, Ventura Garcés-López Ibor, Elzaburu or Cuatrecasas.Contact us for more information