The first Law Incubator in Europe!
On the Clinic platform the best master’s students in information law come together to help start-ups & individuals with legal issues free of charge. Meanwhile, specialised lawyers oversee the process pro bono. A practice like this is called a law incubator or law clinic and ours is the first in Europe. Clinic is an optional course for students taking a master’s in information law at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam.
A necessary practical experience for information law students
On behalf of Clinic we are an active part of the international network of European Law Incubators (iLINC), and since our foundation we have seen considerable growth. The renowned partner offices makes it a highly competitive optional course. Yet every year there is only room for 12 master’s students, requiring a strict selection process. The students are able to use a workspace in B. Amsterdam, one of the leading start-up-buildings in Europe.
Clinic believes in the power of collaboration
As a law incubator we bring different parties together. Clinic cannot exist without help from socially engaged students, law firms, start-ups and donors. By working together we can succeed in offering free legal advice to less wealthy individuals and IT start-ups. And this is our key objective. Neelie Kroes agrees. We proudly present her Start-upDelta/Amsterdam as a new partner of Clinic! We also share our views and expertise with an international network of Law Incubators so we can also make a difference abroad.
Collaborators and Partners
Clinic strongly believes in the power of collaboration. That’s why we are active in the international iLINC platform. Here we share views with law incubators from other universities (Queen Mary University of London, Hans Bredow Institute Hamburg, KRI Katholieke University Leuven and Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy of the Brooklyn Law School in New York). But Clinic itself cannot exist without the help of social engaged partners. Thanks to the selfless support of lawyers and donors, every year we again succeed in offering free high quality legal advice with a select group of dedicated and talented people. The group of partners continues to grow. At present, we get support from the municipality of Amsterdam, our 9 partner offices, the Institute for Information law and a group of generous donors. You too can be part of this group!
Do you want to register as a donor, law firm or something else
Scope of Clinic
Unlike other legal clinics, Clinic is active in a limited area within law. Within this jurisdiction (the so-called ‘scope’ of Clinic) we can answer your questions. We cannot and will not deal with questions that fall outside our scope. We also have a limited target audience for whom we answer questions. Clinic is exclusively meant for individuals and small, starting companies for whom specialised legal aid is too costly. This article (roughly) describes the questions that fall within the scope of Clinic and those which do not. If in doubt, you can obviously always contact us.
Questions to the Clinic are typically in the field of:
- intellectual property law: for example copyright, brand law, trademark law, patent la, database law, design law;
- telecommunications law: Spam, SMS-service, number portability;
- internet law: identity theft, domain name disputes;
- information law: freedom of expression, journalism;
- IT law: computer crime;
- consumer law: distance selling, General Terms and Conditions of web shops. This list is only a guide. If in doubt, please contact us.
Issues that we do not deal with
A number of matters expressly do not fall within the scope of Clinic:
- Questions that cannot be assessed based on Dutch law.
- Issues that Clinic cannot deal with by email or verbally over the phone.
- Questions aimed at Clinic having to draw up a contract, letter or General Terms and Conditions. Questions about terms or provisions from contracts and General Terms and Conditions are obviously still dealt with.
- Issues for which it is clear that there will have to be a court case. In this case you can contact us if you cannot find a lawyer.
- Questions with regard to tax law and import or export levies.
Because we work closely with a number of lawyers within the aforementioned jurisdiction, we may be forced by circumstances to drop a case. We do this partly to guarantee the confidentiality of your personal information. Although we strive to offer a full service, we reserve the right to, in accordance with our terms and conditions, whether or not to take on a case.
This is how the platform emerged
Clinic is an independent foundation, conceived by Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm (lawyer at bureau Brandeis and teacher at the UvA). In 2008 he saw an opportunity to link talented master’s students to those with legal issues but limited budgets. Specialised legal advice is often essential, but not affordable to everyone. On the other hand, he saw how recently graduated jurists were increasingly asked for hands-on experience. It was time to create a space where these two could connect.