Stanford Law students eager to see what it takes to develop an idea into a business got the chance to participate in Startup Bootcamp for Lawyers, co-sponsored by The Stanford Center on the Legal Profession (SCLP) and The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX). The crash course brought 25 JD and advanced degree students to campus for a weekend in April, where teams were assigned a challenge, developed it, and presented it to VCs. 

“I don’t have an idea for a startup now, but am very interested in working with startups and will be at a firm this summer that specializes in small companies,” says Rachel Boochever, JD ’18, who worked at Google before Stanford Law. 

The bootcamp was co-taught by two legal tech experts, Jay Mandal, CodeX fellow and VP of product strategy at SAP, and Jose Torres, SCLP’s Legal Design Lab fellow and director of the Innovation Law Center at the Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia. They encouraged students to dig in, and get started. 

“Don’t get hung up on the tech when starting your idea—that was a big takeaway for me,” says Bruno Silveira, LLM ’17, whose team developed a prototype and built an app for their idea. “They said ‘run with your idea and go with your initiative.’” 

The bootcamp culminated in a pitch to three venture capitalists. Silveira, whose team won the highest scores, hopes to build his own legal tech idea—using lessons learned in one short weekend. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, and another bootcamp is planned for next year.