Last May I organized, moderated and taught in-depth class for lawyers on the special issues raised in working with startups and growth companies. This was the 5th version of the class, which I started organizing more than 10 years ago, through California’s state-wide continuing education entity, CEB.

The great thrill, and challenge, in working with startups and fast-growth companies, is that they need everything immediately, things change constantly, and the company typically has much less of a budget than is needed for all the legal work that the lawyer would like to do. So the startup lawyer needs to address multiple areas of the law — corporate structure and formation, employment, intellectual property law, securities law and private financing — and must do so super efficiently and in a way that makes sense to the founders and entrepreneurs running the new business.

Here’s what we cover in our super-efficient and intense one-day course:

Representing a Startup: From Notes on a Napkin to Series A, CEB Friday, May 1, 2015, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm •

Description: Are you ready to advise the next wave of startups? Whether you client is an entrepreneur with nothing more than a business summary roughed out on a napkin, or a startup team further along in development, all early-stage companies need significant legal advice, in many different areas, to make their dreams a reality. Learn from our expert panel about critical issues facing startup and early stage companies and how you can best position your clients to achieve maximum growth.


  • Blood, sweat, and cash – capitalization and founder agreements
  • Workers, vesting, and shares – tax gotchas for startup teams
  • Incentivizing wisely–options vs. alternate incentive comp structures
  • Securing ownership of assets – provisionals, WFH, confidentiality, IP assignment
  • Brand-building essentials–trademark and corporate identity strategies
  • Seed financing alternatives–convertible debt and other seed stage equity
  • Current trends in early-stage venture term sheets–what’s market?

Experience Level: This is an advanced level program. Significant prior transactional business law experience is assumed.