Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Clients

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  • What is a student law clinic?
    In a student law clinic, student attorneys work directly with clients on their legal matters, under the supervision of law professor who is also a licensed, practicing attorney.


  • Who is eligible for representation by the IPT Clinic?
    Individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, or others located in Virginia or the District of Columbia, who cannot otherwise afford legal counsel.
  • What will I have to pay if I am accepted as a client?
    Our services are free; however, clients are responsible for all filing fees with agencies, such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Virginia’s State Corporation Commission.
  • What kind of work does the IPT Clinic do?
    We advise and assist with transactional matters such as setting up a business, applying to register a trademark, writing and negotiating contracts, copyright questions, and other general business transactions. We do not assist in disputes or litigation matters with the USPTO or other parties.
  • I received an Office Action from the USPTO, rejecting my trademark application! Can you help me?
    It depends on the deadline to respond. If you have an imminent deadline, we urge you to seek other counsel immediately, as the USPTO has strict time limits, which may impact your rights and options in this matter. You may be able to find representation through the Virginia Lawyer Referral service at (800) 552-7977 or online here.
  • I need a patent. Can this clinic help me with this?
    • Sorry, no. But there are other options!
    • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office maintains a database which indicates which law school clinics handle patent representation.
    • In addition, there is a national clearinghouse of patent lawyers who will provide pro bono assistance.
    • Finally, you may be able to find representation through the Virginia Lawyer Referral service at (800) 552-7977 or online here.
  • What do I need to do to apply for services?
    Complete the online application, and if your matter is within the Clinic’s scope of services, you will be added to the waiting list. When a spot opens up, a member of the clinic will contact you to conduct an interview. Please note, it may be several months before you are contacted, as the requests for the IPT Clinic’s services far exceed our capacity.
  • Does the Clinic operate and take clients year-round?
    The Clinic only accepts new clients during the academic semesters (Jan. – Apr. and Sept. – Nov.). During the summer (May – Aug.) and winter (Dec.) hiatus, the Clinic serves existing clients only.