January 23, 2010
Law and Entrepreneurship LLMs
Posted by Gordon Smith
Two years ago, Darian Ibrahim and I were defending law and entrepreneurship as a credible field of study. Now we learn that Duke Law School and the University of Colorado School of Law are launching a new Law and Entrepreneurship LLM programs. We have come a long way since the First Law & Entrepreneurship Retreat

UPDATE: My friend and co-author Danny Sokol also comments on this development, though with much more panache:

In my own research in this area for an article in which I am writing with Gordon Smith (BYU Law), we note that lots of the existing literature in entrepreneurship is fundamentally about legal issues. Nevertheless, academics in other fields that have been active in entrepreneurship research (sociology/org theory, accounting, finance and economics) for the most part have yet to make these connections explicit in their work. 
As I explained to a colleague on Friday who wondered why the "law" part is so important if it has not been explicit in much of the non-legal research to date, my answer to him is that the "law" is like the Book of Esther. Unlike other books of the Bible, God (in all possible variations of the name) does not appear even once in the Book of Esther. However, as we learned in Hebrew School, this does not mean that God is not ever-present in the story.
Biblical allusions aside, law and entrepreneurship is a hot field and one that I think will continue to grow in part because the study of entrepreneurship has taken off in many universities. With BIGLAW jobs perhaps no longer guaranteed for students, law and entrepreneurship allows students to access an area of law where jobs might be possible for those who are willing to take on some risk. Additionally, increasingly the structure of BIGLAW might make a number of current BIGLAW associates and partners more willing to take the plunge into a fascinating area of law that is a driver of US innovation and growth.

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