Summer Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Seattle Skyline - SITIE

Seattle University School of Law invites law students from all ABA-accredited law schools to join us for a summer of immersion into entrepreneurship, technology, and cutting edge legal careers. Enroll now

Seattle is the beating heart of a vibrant entrepreneurial community that pulses with creativity and ingenuity. Learn how to contribute legal expertise to these cutting-edge innovators at Seattle University School of Law’s Summer Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (SITIE—pronounced CITY) where law students can:

  • Gain an insider’s view into Seattle’s startup culture by connecting with lawyers and executives at the region’s most innovative companies.
  • Learn from faculty with deep expertise in technology, real estate, artificial intelligence, intellectual property, and more.
  • Confront current policy issues while immersing yourself in both the theory and the practice of counseling business innovators and innovation.
  • Participate in a unique structure that allows students to earn up to seven transferable law school credits in just five weeks of on-site instruction.

Students are encouraged to take the Immersion Course: Lawyering for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Students can also choose from four additional courses on related topics, including artificial intelligence, the role of in-house counsel, advising start-ups, and innovation through real estate development.

Courses and Schedule

Immersion Course: Lawyering for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
3 credits
2021 Faculty:

Schedule: Monday, May 24-Thursday, May 27 (count on days between approximately 9am and 7pm). The course will include the online proceedings of the 4th Annual Symposium on Innovation and Technology, with its 2021 theme of Innovating for the Social Good, to be held Friday June 4 (from approximately 9am to 4pm). All immersion course sessions and the Innovation conference will be conducted online via Zoom or a similar platform.  

Immersion Overview and Goals: Gain valuable experience in the start-up world by learning from and connecting with successful experts and businesses, and see first-hand how lawyers can add value in an entrepreneurial setting.

  • Some of the course will be spent studying legal ethics, business law, intellectual property, and the role of lawyers in the corporate environment.
  • Students will also virtually visit with successful, innovative and entrepreneurial lawyers and business executives at leading Seattle-area companies, including Microsoft.
  • Readings, films, guest speakers, simulations and reflections will be incorporated to create a truly immersive experience.

Immersion Course Structure:

  • Optional course meeting/informal discussion online the week before the course begins
  • 10-day or more advance reading and preparation period
  • One intensive instruction week full-time for 4 days (conducted via Zoom or similar platform), including virtual site visits (May 24-27)
  • Attendance at the online Innovation conference Friday June 4, 2021
  • Completing the final project after the course meetings end

Watch the information session: Immersion Course: Lawyering for Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Artificial Intelligence Law: Practice and Theory
2 credits
Faculty: Mark Chinen (Professor, Seattle University) and Jennifer Dumas (Acting General Counsel, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence)
Schedule:  June 2-28  M/W - 4:30-6:45 p.m. plus one all-day session on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Online: All course sessions will be conducted online via Zoom or a similar platform.

This course examines the legal and ethical issues of Artificial Intelligence, and includes the following objectives:

  • Introduces AI and considers its likely uses in society and in the economy
  • Identifies AI concerns with respect to intellectual property, privacy law, tort, contract, agency, and the law of war
  • Examines the role insurance and regulation will play in AI governance
  • Considers broader implications of AI at the intersection of law and ethics

Watch the information session: Artificial Intelligence Law: Practice and Theory


Counseling Startups: Law, Regulation and Fundraising
2 credits
Faculty: Paul Swegle (General Counsel of Observa, CareXM, TouchPointCare, and Hirestreams)
Schedule:  June 1-24 T/Th - 4:30-6:45 p.m. plus one all-day session on Saturday, June 26, 2021. Online: All course sessions will be conducted online via Zoom or a similar platform.

Launching a company requires thoughtful decision-making and careful execution of myriad legal and regulatory tasks-all at the speed of business, and with limited resources. This course is about advising entrepreneurs and startups how to build, grow, and finance innovative businesses and how to prevent and address common legal, governance, and regulatory challenges.

The first half of the course will cover key business law fundamentals critical for advising startups

  • Determining the best entity type for a business, based on financing plans, ownership and control expectations, and tax objectives
  • Forming in Delaware or the entrepreneurs’ home state
  • Entity formation steps and best practices
  • General corporate governance principles
  • Structuring relationships between and among founders, investors, employees and other stakeholders
  • Identifying and protecting intellectual property
  • Contract drafting and negotiation
  • Common regulatory concerns

The second half of the course will shift to how companies are capitalized

  • How ownership interests are established in the form of different classes of stock, LLC units, options, and other instruments
  • How investors’ interests are reflected in a company’s capitalization table
  • The federal securities law framework governing fundraising
  • Typical financing strategies involving angel investors, strategic investors, venture capital firms, crowdfunding, and other funding sources
  • Documentation and steps involved with common types of debt and equity financings
  • Understanding venture capital term sheets - valuation, liquidation preferences, and other aspects of control and economics
  • Preparing a company for a financing or sale

Watch the information session: Counseling Startups: Law, Regulation and Fundraising


The Role of In-House Counsel: Lawyering within an Organization
2 credits
Faculty: Maja Larson (Vice President and General Counsel, Allen Institute)
Schedule: June 1-24 T/Th - 7-9:15 p.m., plus one all-day session on Friday, June 25, 2021. Online: All course sessions will be conducted online via Zoom or a similar platform.

Learn the role and responsibilities of an in-house lawyer, a unique position that must understand multiple practice areas and possess a working knowledge of business principles. In each class, students study the legal challenges of a company and work through how best to counsel management on risks and issues. There are frequent legal and business professionals who will be guests in the class to help students understand the role from multiple perspectives.

Watch the information session: The Role of In-House Counsel: Lawyering within an Organization


Innovating the Built Environment 
2 credits
Faculty: Rob Turner (founder InTown Legal)
Scheduling update: Now offered fall semester 2021 in-person Wednesdays 4:00–5:50 p.m.

The built environment is a rich landscape for innovation to improve law and society, and in the case of confronting climate change, seeking to preserve a viable future for us. This course threads together two societal goals that intersect with the built environment—minimizing the impact of climate change and increasing the communication networks that connect us all as Americans.

Our course will therefore focus on: i) climate-driven impacts on the built real estate environment, and ii) a review of the progress and evolution of wireless communications over the past 30 years (with an emphasis on the required infrastructure and real property matters required to operate the wireless networks).

With regard to the climate change component, the course will examine climate change and analyze the growing collision with those realities and the developed real estate environment in the United States (where we analyze and consider governmental and private sector solutions to mitigate those impacts). Climate change related issues that will be examined include: growing Western wildfire seasons and the consequences of ever expanding development, rising sea levels and the immediate impacts on coastal communities and forecasted impacts in the coming decades, and transition from fossil fuels that impacts on our transportation infrastructure. With this component of the program, we will evaluate the legal implications (primarily real estate focused) of this interaction and consider what steps can (or should) be taken now to minimize the climate change impacts on our communities. The actions reviewed and considered will include governmental solutions (from local to national policies and directives) and solutions offered by the private sector.

With regard to the evolution of wireless communications component, the course will use the timeline of the growth of wireless communications over the last 30 years to review and consider the interplay of real estate and the accompanying physical infrastructure required to operate wireless networks. For radio-based communications, there is an extensive amount of physical infrastructure required for the initial network builds that began in earnest in the late 1980s and the evolution of that growth with the projected needs for new antenna sites required for the national rollout of 5G communications in the United States. Given that real property, buildings and infrastructure (e.g. light poles) are an essential component for the communications networks, each of our classes during this portion of the program will include review of select types of ground and roof top leases and related wireless network agreements commonly used in by the communications industry.

Students participating in the course will be exposed to a variety of legal and extralegal challenges and solutions to daunting social problems, along with practicing the skills of sophisticated contract selection and drafting, navigating the various governmental and regulatory layers for those components.

Watch the information session: Innovating the Built Environment

Eligibility

  • The courses are open to any student in good standing currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school (MBA students may be eligible, please inquire for more information).
  • Both Seattle University and visitor law students who are full-time (those not working 20 or more hours a week in June) may take the 3-credit Immersion course and up to 2 of the 4 SITIE institute courses in June.
  • Both Seattle University and visitor law students who are part-time (those working 20 or more hours a week in June) may take the 3-credit Immersion course and only 1 of the 4 SITIE institute courses in June.

Faculty

The five institute courses will be taught by legal experts, drawn from both Seattle University’s full-time faculty, visiting faculty, and leading legal practitioners in specific areas.

Steven Bender

Associate Dean Steven Bender is a national academic leader whose research interests coincide with his classroom teaching, which encompasses subjects as diverse as Business Associations, Property, Real Estate Transactions, UCC Secured Transactions, Contracts, and Latina/os and the Law. Read more.

Mark Chinen

Before he began teaching, Professor Mark Chinen practiced in the areas of international trade, banking and corporate and securities law. He teaches contracts and courses in international law and writes on various aspects of international law, particularly international governance, theology and international law. Read more.

Diane Lourdes Dick

Professor Diane Lourdes Dick focuses her teaching and scholarship on complex corporate transactions, with particular emphasis on commercial finance, business bankruptcy and out-of-court restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and business entity taxation. Read more.

Jennifer Dumas

Jennifer is Acting General Counsel at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, where she is the executive leader in charge of all legal affairs. She brings nearly twenty years of solving complex legal issues for high growth, disruptive companies to her role as AI2's principal legal advisor. Read more.

Maja Larson

As general counsel for the Allen Institute, since 2007 Maja has been responsible for the legal, risk management and crisis management functions, and has managed grants administration, research compliance and human resources. Read more.

Paul Swegle

Paul has served as general counsel to a dozen companies across several industries, including fintech, financial services, health and medical devices, health and medical data management, e-commerce and natural resources, guiding them across most areas of law and regulation. Read more.

Steve Tapia

Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Steve Tapia has practiced entertainment, media and intellectual property law for over 30 years. As in-house counsel for DIRECTV Sports Networks, he was the primary contract negotiator for programming and distribution partnerships with the Seattle Mariners and many other teams and conferences. He also served as a Senior Attorney in Microsoft’s Law and Corporate Affairs department, where he advised on open source licensing strategies and policies. Read more.

Rob Turner

Rob is the founder of InTown Legal, a boutique law firm focused on business, commercial real estate and communications infrastructure matters. Prior to opening his own firm, Rob practiced with two Southeastern regional firms and served as in-house counsel with a NASDAQ traded technology company. Read more.

Application/enrollment procedures

Seattle U Law students
Seattle U students can begin to register for SITIE courses at their summer registration time (March 2021). Registration will remain open on a space-available basis until classes begin.

Visiting students
All students from other law schools must complete and submit the following:

  • Application form
  • Letter of good standing from dean or registrar of your home law school

Drop policy
The following applies only to the Immersion Course:

  • 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - Deadline to receive a full tuition refund. Students who drop the immersion course on or before Wednesday, May 12, 2021 will receive a full tuition refund. Students who drop the immersion course between Thursday, May 13 and Monday, May 24, 2021 will receive a full tuition refund minus a $200 late-drop fee. No refunds will be issued for immersion course tuition after May 24, 2021 unless a student is unable to attend class because of illness or emergency.

All other SITIE courses are subject to Seattle University’s standard summer refund policy. See the Student Handbook (page 43) for details.