The EBA is about supporting success! Success for its members, their entrepreneurial clients, the community, and the world. We are launching our inaugural CLE program, the first of many about how to position these individuals and communities for achievement. This hot topic will help prepare start-ups for success as the new Administration in Washington rolls out its first 100 days.
While we plan to keep up with new developments, we will present other programs that will excite everyone interested in working with entrepreneurs of every type, from tech and consumer products to services of all kinds. Ecosystem sherpas, B-corps, funding, founders issues and other topics are early on our list for 2017.
Why start a bar association dedicated to supporting lawyers representing the new economy? Having worked with top bar associations in Texas and the United States, I know the great work that has been done to support lawyers for the benefit of their clients and their communities. Helping lawyers be better lawyers, helping them find tools to make their practices more efficient and viable, and providing networking opportunities for education and support, are the value proposition of excellent bar organizations.
I have seen these organizations up the game of family lawyers, real estate lawyers, estate planning and probate lawyers and many others, all to the benefit of those they serve. And among my friends who are entrepreneurial attorneys, there is a desire and a need for this sort of support for success.
From my perspective however, entrepreneurial law is not simply another specialty area rising, but instead it is a new amalgam of prior disciplines. The new economy, any current disclaimers to the contrary, is an unstoppable force transforming the globe, churning out new ideas, solutions, stock exchange powerhouses, and jobs. Witness the EBA’s home city, Austin, Texas, in the top five of Gallop’s Job Creation Cities three years running. The other top cities include Salt Lake City and San Francisco, which are also leaders in entrepreneurship.
And, the mighty force of entrepreneurship is not just an American phenomenon, but it has been credited with reducing world-wide poverty by 48% and child mortality by 42%.
In the communities where entrepreneurship is thriving, an ecosystem has developed to accelerate start-up growth. And lawyers are often the primary guides navigating the ecosystem to position start-ups for success. Lawyers are there at every stage, from birthing the new entity to creating and reviewing the contracts involved in hiring, leasing, buying, selling, funding…in fact, at every part of the life-cycle of a start up. They work in partnership with their entrepreneurial client to keep it alive at all stages, advising about the hundreds of changing laws that could potentially trip up the new business at the beginning. They must be familiar with their clients businesses as well as many legal disciplines including Corporate, Intellectual Property, Immigration, Litigation, Technology and Employment Law.
But the key role of a really good entrepreneurial attorney is that of trusted counselor, the often forgotten part of the “attorney and counselor-at-law” that is a lawyer’s professional title. Lawyers must use their experience to encourage and guide the unique individual who is an entrepreneur, above all connecting their clients with the myriad resources for success in their ecosystems.
Law schools are recognizing the growth of this new specialty and its importance in the economy by providing incubators to help lawyers learn first hand these skills.
The purpose of the Entrepreneurial Law Bar Association is to unite lawyers experienced at working with entrepreneurs with other lawyers who want to learn more, especially new lawyers and law students. We invite the range of legal practitioners, including big firm lawyers, solo-practitioners, general counsel, and lawyers who are entrepreneurs themselves. We welcome all who are interested in entrepreneurial law into the EBA!
Our new CLE programs will provide educational and networking opportunities targeted to our members. And, we will provide forums to give our members the opportunity to shape those programs. We plan to work with our members to identify and shape best practices and standards to elevate this burgeoning specialty in the public eye and protect clients, who are often unfamiliar with business. We will provide tools, connections and information that will help our members do what they do best: be the trusted counselor.
Because we know that by honoring this trust and supporting success for individuals, we are reaping success for our communities and the world, not to mention our members. The EBA has set this standard of supporting success as a high bar for itself, but we intend to achieve it and more. We hope you will join us!