Zell Lurie Co-Founder Funds Entrepreneurial Law Program

Shannon Beeman
September 10, 2011

Ross School of Business benefactor Sam Zell, whose name adorns the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and who has given $14 million in support of it, has given $5 million to the U-M Law School to establish a rare program in entrepreneurship and law.

Launching this fall, The Zell Entrepreneurship and Law Program (ZEAL), will establish a clinic to offer free legal advice to Michigan’s burgeoning number of student entrepreneurs, while simultaneously boosting the Law School’s curriculum to train students to better serve both startup and existing entrepreneurial businesses.

The clinical aspect of the new program will deploy student-attorneys, supervised by faculty members, to help founders of promising student ventures iron out the business formation, trademark, finance, patent, regulatory and other issues that can complicate the establishment of any entrepreneurial business.

The program will support such existing initiatives at the Zell Lurie Institute, which Zell co-founded in 1999 and has granted more than $2.3 million in support of startups for graduate students and undergraduates alike.

ZEAL is the newest in a series of university initiatives geared toward business development, including: the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies; student-run programs like the Ross School’s Wolverine Venture Fund; a unique new professional master’s degree in entrepreneurship created by the Ross School and the College of Engineering; the Michigan Venture Center; the Center for Entrepreneurship within the College of Engineering; and a variety of competitions and grant programs that encourage student startups. Overall, more than 5,000 students across campus participated in an entrepreneurial activity last year.

To read more about the Zell Entrepreneurship and Law Program visit the Ross news page.