The UI Small Business Legal Clinic, based in Boise but serving clients statewide, was created in 2003. The clinic has paired over 50 law students with more than 150 Idaho-based start-up companies, including online businesses, food manufacturers, engineering consultants, recreational companies, software developers, firefighters, truckers, a ceramic artist, a hairdresser and day care operators. Each client has its own unique set of needs and challenges, and the clinic customizes its offerings for each.
“Most of the Small Business Legal Clinic clients just want to get their formation paperwork in order and then get on to their business, but some will come back after a few years if they need help with hiring new employees, or are passing their business to their kids,” Dillion said.
Dillion runs his clinic law-firm style, sitting around a table with the students discussing their caseloads each week. He helps the students with legal advice as well as how to interact with clients and develop their interpersonal skills. All students are in the third year of law school through UI’s College of Law and serve 180 hours per semester at the clinic.