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Transactional Law Clinic Resources

Transactional Clinics -- Introduction

Getting Started

This Research Guide will help you find legal and practical resources related to your work at one of the Transactional Law Clinics. This Guide is designed to get you started by introducing you to resources -- it cannot cover all possible research topics. 

You may also want to check out:

Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) resources are great for any practitioner in Massachusetts, especially new lawyers or experienced lawyers working in an unfamiliar area of law. Use the Advanced Search feature (to the left of the main search bar) to find the type of resource you need in the relevant area of law. You will see many MCLE resources identified in this Guide. (Requires HLS Me authentication.)

Practical Guidance

Introduction

Lexis's Practice Advisor, Westlaw's Practical Law, and Bloomberg Law's Transactional Intelligence Center are good places to start researching transactional law areas. These resources are designed for practitioners — both new attorneys and attorneys new to these areas of law. They offer relevant laws & regulations, secondary sources, practice guides, outlines & checklists, model agreements & forms, and drafting tools.

Practical Guidance on Legal Research Platforms

Starting in Lexis Advance, click on the tiles in the upper left corner to find the tile for Lexis Practice Advisor. You can browse the various "Practice Areas" to focus on a particular type of transaction or area of law (e.g., Corporate and M&A, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, Tax, etc.).

Lexis Practice Advisor

Starting in Westlaw, click on the small menu icon in the upper left corner to toggle between the (standard) Westlaw and Practical Law platforms. You can browse the various "Practice Areas" to focus on a particular type of transaction or area of law (e.g., Bankruptcy & Restructuring, Corporate and M&A, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, etc.).

Thomson Reuter's Practical Law

Starting in Bloomberg Law, click on the "Browse" link in the upper left, then click on "Transactional Intelligence Center" in the menu that pops out from the left side.

Bloomberg Law's Transactional Intelligence Center

 

Here's a partial view of the Transactional Intelligence Center (scroll for more). You can find resources designed for practitioners, explaining how to structure different types of transactions, draft various types of documents, etc.  

Bloomberg Law's Transactional Intelligence Center

For-Profit Businesses

Free Legal Documents???

Just Google "free legal documents for startups" and you will find many online documents you can use to start a business.

Are they any good? I don't know.

The quality of documents you may find online varies and the Library in no way endorses any provider of free/low-cost legal documents as being "the best," or "quality" or even "somewhat OK."

We do, however, suggest you consider some questions:

  • Where did these documents come from—is it reputable (e.g., a well-known law firm with experience representing startups)?
  • Are they current—can you tell when the documents were last updated (or were they uploaded and forgotten)?
  • Are they relevant for my specific needs (e.g., your jurisdiction/type of startup/legal issue)?

Think critically. A quality law firm may offer basic documents with the hope a startup will become successful and use that firm as their legal adviser in the future (e.g., going public, an acquisition, etc.). Even so, the firm will usually advise the startup to have a legal professional review the final documents to make sure they are consistent with the needs of the specific startup. If you examine the website carefully you will usually find this cautionary language if you follow a link marked "Disclaimer," or "Terms of Service," or any other place where legal details can be tucked away.

Recommended reading: What it Means When Law Firms and Startups Give Away Legal Documents (written by Daniel Doktori, a Harvard Law graduate and co-founder of the Harvard Law Entrepreneur Project). The article was written in 2015 but contains relevant advice and the majority of links it provides will connect you to sites that continue to be operational.

Examples of sites providing documents and information for startups include:

Just remember: You get what you pay for.

 

Choice of Legal Entity

Businesses can be established in a variety of ways. These resources can help you choose an appropriate form of legal entity.

Massachusetts Resources

Below are some publicly available resources (i.e., free):

Below are some additional resources available through the HLS Library:

Contracts, Forms, and Sample Documents

Commercial legal research platforms offer sample forms, agreements, and other documents.

  • Westlaw:
    • From the landing page for Westlaw Edge, click on the "Forms" link (under the "Content Types" tab)
    • From the landing page for Practical Law, click on the "Standard Documents" or "Standard Clauses" link (under the "Resource Types" tab)
  • Lexis Advance:
    • From the landing page, click on the "Forms" link (under the "Content Type" tab), or
    • From the landing page, select the "Practice Area or Industry" tab, then click on the "View our Practice Centers" link at the bottom
      • Click on the "Corporate and M&A" Practice Center
      • Under "Top Sources," click to expand "Matthew Bender Forms and Checklists"
      • Click on "Matthew Bender Corporate and M&A Forms"
      • Click on "Get documents"
      • Use the Filters on the left to hone in on the form you need
  • Bloomberg Law:
    • From the landing page, click on "Practical Guidance,
    • Then click inside the "Find a Document" search bar to see a menu of options.

In addition, consider these resources:

Other Resources

Non-Profit Organizations

Creating a Non-Profit Organization

Massachusetts Resources

Contracts, Forms, and Sample Documents

Practical guidance available through Westlaw's Practical Law and Lexis's Practice Advisor platforms can be very helpful for finding sample forms and other documents. See the Practical Guidance section of this Guide, above.

  • Westlaw's Practical Law: 
  • Lexis's Practice Advisor: 

Other Resources

Real Estate

Massachusetts Resources

Contracts, Forms, and Sample Documents

Other Resources

Entertainment Law

General Resources

Contracts, Forms, and Sample Documents

Other Resources

Community Enterprise Project

Community Economic Development Resources

Additional Resources

Other Relevant Areas of Law

Transactional work will involve many other areas of law, as well researching public records to learn the facts to which the law will apply. For additional resources check out these Research Guides:

Getting Help

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