Workshop: Overview of the Legal Landscape for Aspiring Entrepreneurs


Location: 34 Chambers Street, 115

Speaker: Steven Spielvogel, Esq.

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Entrepreneurs are confronted with legal issues on a regular basis, and typically without the luxury of on-site legal counsel. It is important for entrepreneurs to be ever vigilant in identifying legal issues. Failure to “spot” legal issues can result in serious legal and financial ramifications for a business venture and the entrepreneur, and may adversely affect future professional opportunities. This session, facilitated by Steven Spielvogel, Esq., will introduce student entrepreneurs to the multifaceted legal landscape that they will likely encounter in the real world, and will touch upon such topics as:

  • (i) selecting the appropriate business entity: the pros and cons of sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations (“C” & “S”) and limited liability companies (LLCs));
  • (ii) entity formation, nomenclature and corporate governance: certificates of incorporation, certificates of formation, bylaws and operating agreements;
  • (iii) determining whether an individual is an “employee" or “independent contractor";
  • (iv) stock options: incentive stock options (ISOs) and non-qualified stock options (NQOs); (v) non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements (NDAs);
  • (vi) distinguishing between patents, trademarks and copyrights;
  • (vii) international intellectual property issues; and
  • (viii) intellectual property assignment agreements and “works made for hire.”

This 2-hour session is open to undergrad and grad students, postdocs, and faculty. Dinner will be served and registration is required.


Speaker Bio

Steven Spielvogel received his Bachelor's Degree summa cum laude with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989; he was awarded his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. Following law school, Mr. Spielvogel earned two federal court clerkships: United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Owen, J.); and United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit (Holloway, J.). Following these clerkships, he joined the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, where he represented such companies as Goldman, Sachs & Co., the Exxon Corporation and Reuters. 

He has held principal executive and managerial positions with leading corporations, including serving as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at a Wall Street financial institution and as Vice President and General Counsel of a Silicon Valley technology company. In addition, Mr. Spielvogel has taught or presented lectures on numerous subjects (e.g., Entrepreneurship and the Law, The Emerging Role of the General Counsel at Technology and Internet-Based Companies, Federal Courts, Constitutional Litigation and Introduction to the U.S. Legal System) at several of North America’s most prestigious law schools, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, University of Toronto and the University of Pennsylvania.  In 2018, he was selected as a “Super Lawyer” in New York City  (and, previously selected 2010-2011, 2013-2018).  Most recently, he has presented numerous lectures on topics related to entrepreneurship and the law at Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (where he serves as an Advisor in the Keller Center for Entrepreneurship, providing guidance to Princeton students, faculty and alumni on business and legal issues), as well as presented a lecture at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (where he participated on a panel devoted to social entrepreneurship).

Mr. Spielvogel is the Founder and Chief Philanthropic Officer of YourVetted (a global network of highly-credential individuals, advancing charitable and social causes), Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commerce For Humanity Charitable Foundation, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) dedicated to alleviating suffering across the globe), and is a Member of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society and Metropolitan Opera Guild.  He is the Founder and former President and Chairman of the Board of Directors (2004-2014), and presently President Emeritus, of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms (INBLF), the largest association of boutique law firms in the world, with members in approximately forty countries and forty cities in the United States.  He also founded and served as the President of the International Association of Networks (IAN), and is a former member of the Institute for Business Law & Technology’s Advisory Board, former Scholar-in-Residence at the Centre for Innovation Law & Policy at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, former Co-Chairman of the Business & Technology Law Committee of LISTnet (New York's largest technology organization), and former Advisory Committee Member of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).