Organizations and Transactions Clinic students Sarah Craig (’19) and Tyler Miller (’19) recently developed contracts for The Exploratorium, a prominent San Francisco nonprofit and one of the world’s leading science museums and educational institutions. They reflect on their experience below.
This past winter, we had the opportunity to represent The Exploratorium, a San Francisco museum and public learning laboratory with a mission to transform learning worldwide. Through inquiry-based experiences, Exploratorium visitors explore the world through science, art, and human perception.
In line with its mission, The Exploratorium develops programs and exhibits for use by other museums, educational institutions, and even airports. While the exhibits range in size, style, and purpose, one thing is constant: both children and adults learn from engaging with The Exploratorium’s exhibits. In addition, The Exploratorium creates opportunities for collaboration with outside artists and thinkers through its Osher Fellow and Artist-in-Residence programs. What makes The Exploratorium particularly distinct from most of our other O&T clients is its international reach, as its creativity and expertise are in demand around the globe.
We worked on the contracts used by The Exploratorium for these exhibit development, fellowship, and residential programs. We met several times over the course of the quarter with senior executives, either by phone or in person in San Francisco, in order to better understand the nature of the relevant relationship and to reflect client priorities in our revisions. We researched applicable statutes and worked to ensure that each document included the appropriate content for the issue at hand. We thoroughly enjoyed the intellectual challenge of creating contracts tailored to our client’s needs and to the collaborative contexts in which they operate while still maintaining legal protections across a variety of doctrinal areas.
Throughout the engagement, we were fascinated by the wide range and complexity of The Exploratorium’s activities and impressed by its dedication to exploring new ways of seeing the world and engaging with the public. We were immensely gratified by the trust The Exploratorium placed in us to wrestle with thorny legal issues and to draft contract documents. For both of us, this engagement was a highlight of our time at Stanford, and we won’t look at a museum in quite the same way again. We are grateful for having had the opportunity to represent The Exploratorium, and we thank its senior management for this valuable experience.