Free Clinic Aims To Help Startups Tiptoe Through Legal Quicksand

By Iacopo Luzi, The Times of Israel October 16, 2016 Comments

This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

Israel may be one of the best places in the world to create a new startup, yet it can be very hard for entrepreneurs to deal with bureaucracy and legalities. A tiny detail or a small mistake can cost thousands of shekels.

For this reason, the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, a private university north of Tel Aviv, has set up a free legal clinic to help new startups wade their way through legal quagmires and bureaucracy.

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“Our legal clinic is a unit within the IDC Herzliya that wants to make social impact involving students, who can in the process also get practical legal experience. They get real legal experience, perhaps even more than some interns,” said Assaf Ben David, a lawyer with international, commercial and high-tech experience, who was recruited to establish the clinic two years ago.

Startups that wish to become clients of the clinic must be technologically related: they must produce apps, software, websites or physical products that do something unique. In addition, they must be social ventures.

“Dan Nir and Roger Gladstone, the people who donated money to open the clinic, had a dream to create social change. Due to their social awareness, and the IDC’s focus on social involvement alongside entrepreneurship, we decided to choose only this type of startups,” said Ben David.

Nir is an American private investor and a philanthropist who managed hedge funds for 25 years. Gladstone founded the Gladstone Law Group and is a board member of numerous organizations.

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The clinic is the first of its kind in Israel, said Ben David. The free legal service is exclusively provided to help women, new immigrants, Arab-Israelis, ultra-Orthodox Jews, the Druze, residents of Israel’s periphery and individuals with disabilities.

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