What’s it like advising east London tech entrepreneurs about the law?
A new venture by Queen Mary University of London is matching up poverty-stricken start-ups and experience-hungry law students in a bid to create a free legal advice hub in east London. I went down to qLegal‘s home in Queen Mary’s law faculty in Mile End to speak to some of the people involved.
Advice centre founder Julie Pinborough, project coordinator Patrick Cahill and masters student Yancho Yanchev (pictured below) have been working on qLegal since its inception late last year. The demand has been huge, says Cahill, with “a big need for this service seeing it already booked up until the end of the month.” Already 36 Queen Mary students have advised 100 clients through the scheme.
The programme works by matching up entrepreneurs in need with three law students and a lawyer at one of qLegal’s partner law firms and in-house teams. The opportunity for the students to network and gain experience is very valuable, explains Pinborough, adding: “In a nutshell, they develop the confidence to develop good connections.”
It has certainly worked for Yanchev, who has relished his experience drafting toolkits on IP and licensing as part of the programme. Start-up founders, he says, are such “great clients” that he’d quite like to become one of them rather than pursue a training contract.
Listen to our conversation in full in the podcast below.