IT Law Clinic

At the IT Law Clinic, UCC postgraduate law students provide information to startups on issues such as copyright law, web domain names, electronic commerce law and data protection law.  The Clinic is linked with UCC's LLM in Intellectual Property and E Law programme.  

The development of the IT Law Clinic builds on UCC’s membership of iLINC, the EU network of ICT Law Incubators (see www.ilincnetwork.eu).

The Academic staff of the Clinic are Dr Darius Whelan and Professor Maeve McDonagh

Start-ups we have helped

I found the team at UCC IT Law Clinic extremely helpful to my request for legal guidance when selling online. They were most efficient in delivering a detailed response that was in-depth and thorough.

Dr Aoife Kelly, ÍON - Herbs | Health | Happiness

ÍON delivers health tonics to enhance the health of teams in companies. The company is supported by Enterprise Ireland and has been featured in The Irish Times, IMAGE magazine and the Irish Tatler.

Visit ION

Free information on legal issues for Startups

At the IT Law Clinic, UCC law postgraduate students and academic staff work in partnership with established law firms to provide information to startups on legal questions. There is no charge for the service.

The UCC IT Law Clinic can help you answer the following questions:

  • How can you protect the copyright in your images and software?
  • How can you ensure your site complies with data protection law?
  • What are the laws on selling online?
  • What are the rules regarding web domain names?
  • Can customer data be stored in cloud services?

We are part of the European network of ICT law incubators – www.ilincnetwork.eu.

Information will be provided in consultation with one of our collaborating solicitors’ firms – McCullagh WallRonan Daly Jermyn and O’Dowd Solicitors. Responses to queries will be provided in a timescale of approximately 4 to 5 weeks. Terms and conditions, notified to the startup, will apply to the information provided.

Requests will be admitted on the following basis: 

  • The clinic deals with issues of copyright law, web domain names, electronic commerce law and data protection law;
  • The clinic will not provide information on employment law or company law;
  • The clinic will not provide information if litigation has commenced;
  • A query will not be admitted if it is unduly complex;
  • The startup must have a low annual turnover, normally a maximum of €100,000 p.a.;
  • The clinic can normally only deal with queries during semester 1 of the academic year, i.e. September to November;
  • If the clinic has sufficient queries for its workload, it cannot take further queries.

Solicitors' Firms

The IT Law Clinic works in collaboration with the following solicitors' firms:

We have also had guest speakers from the following firms, companies, clinics and public bodies:

Terms and Conditions

The following terms and conditions apply to information provided by the IT Law Clinic:

  • The response is provided for information purposes only. It merely provides guidance and does not constitute legal advice;
  • This is a good faith attempt to provide information in response to the query;
  • The solicitors’ firm is supporting the information but did not deal directly with the startup;
  • The firm is not providing the information to the startup; it is providing support to the students;
  • The response is limited to the facts as presented in writing; the clinic and the firm are not aware of the full background; the solicitors’ firm will not normally have had any meeting or conversation with the startup;
  • No fee is charged for the information provided;
  • The IT Law Clinic is not regulated by the Law Society of Ireland, it does not hold itself out to be a solicitors' practice and is not providing legal advice.

Information for Incoming Students

The IT Law Clinic seminars and workshops are scheduled for 2 hours per week throughout semester 2. In accordance with the module description, students must have a minimum of 80% attendance at seminars and workshops. In addition to the two-hour seminar, students must work in teams on assigned queries from tech startups for approximately four hours each week. A high level of active engagement with the module will be required throughout the semester. You may need to research areas of law with which you are not familiar.

Absolute confidentiality will be required – students must not reveal any information to others about clinic activities, except in very general terms as will be explained at seminars.

The module description is available at www.ucc.ie/modules/descriptions/page040.html#LW6612

School of Law

Scoil an Dlí

Room 1.63, Aras na Laoi, T12 T656

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