Summer Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Seattle Skyline - SITIE

Seattle is the beating heart of a vibrant entrepreneurial community that pulses with creativity and ingenuity. Learn how to contribute legal expertise to these cutting-edge innovators at Seattle University School of Law’s Summer Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (SITIE—pronounced CITY) where law students can:

  • Gain an insider’s view into Seattle’s startup culture by connecting with lawyers and executives at the region’s most innovative companies.
  • Learn from faculty with deep expertise in technology, real estate, artificial intelligence, intellectual property, and more.
  • Confront current policy issues while immersing yourself in both the theory and the practice of counseling business innovators and innovation.
  • Participate in a unique structure that allows students to earn up to seven transferable law school credits in just five weeks of on-site instruction.

Students are encouraged to take the Immersion Course: Lawyering for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, offered the last week in May 2020.

Students can also choose from four additional courses on related topics, including artificial intelligence, the role of in-house counsel, advising start-ups, and innovation through real estate development.


Immersion Course: Lawyering for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
3 credits
2020 Faculty:


  • Tuesday, May 26, through Saturday, May 30 -- classes are all day, with some late evenings
  • Friday June 5 -- Students must attend the Third Annual Symposium on Innovation and Technology -- AI 20/20: Envisioning Our Future with Artificial Intelligence & Data Science

Gain valuable experience in the start-up world by learning from and connecting with successful experts and businesses, and see first-hand how lawyers can add value in an entrepreneurial setting.

  • Some of the course will be spent in the classroom studying legal ethics, business law, intellectual property, and the role of lawyers in the corporate environment.
  • Students will also spend time visiting the sites of some of the Seattle region's leading innovators-including Microsoft and other Seattle-area businesses. You will connect with successful, innovative and entrepreneurial lawyers and business executives.
  • Readings, films, guest speakers, simulations and reflections will be incorporated to create a truly immersive experience.

Immersion Course Structure:

  • 10-day or more advance reading and preparation period
  • One intensive instruction week full-time for 5 days, including site visits
  • One post-class week to complete the final project
  • Attendance at the 3rd Annual Symposium on Innovation and Technology at Seattle University on Friday June 5, 2020

Artificial Intelligence Law: Practice and Theory
2 credits
Faculty: Mark Chinen (Professor, Seattle University) and Jennifer Dumas (Senior Legal Counsel, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence)
Schedule:  June 1-24  M/W - 4:30-6:45 p.m. plus one all-day session on Saturday, June 6, 2020

This course examines the legal and ethical issues of Artificial Intelligence, and includes the following objectives:

  • Introduces AI and considers its likely uses in society and in the economy
  • Identifies AI concerns with respect to intellectual property, privacy law, tort, contract, agency, and the law of war
  • Examines the role insurance and regulation will play in AI governance
  • Considers broader implications of AI at the intersection of law and ethics

Counseling Startups: Law, Regulation and Fundraising
2 credits
Faculty: Paul Swegle (Corporate Counsel award, Puget Sound Business Journal, 2012)
Schedule:  June 2-25 T/Th - 4:30-6:45 p.m. plus one all-day session on Saturday, June 27, 2020

Launching a company requires thoughtful decision-making and careful execution of myriad legal and regulatory tasks-all at the speed of business, and with limited resources. This course is about advising entrepreneurs and startups how to build, grow, and finance innovative businesses and how to prevent and address common legal, governance, and regulatory challenges.

The course is split into two sections:

  • First half – key business law fundamentals critical for advising startups
  • Second half – how companies are capitalized

The Role of In-House Counsel: Lawyering within an Organization
2 credits
Faculty: Maja Larson (Vice President and General Counsel, Allen Institute)

  • June 2-11 T/Th - 7-9:15 p.m.
  • June 15-18 M/T/W/TH - 7-9:15 p.m.
  • June 18 - last weekday class
  • One all-day session on Saturday, June 20, 2020

Learn the role and responsibilities of an in-house lawyer, a unique position that must understand multiple practice areas and possess a working knowledge of business principles. In each class, students study the legal challenges of a company and work through how best to counsel management on risks and issues. There are frequent legal and business professionals who will be guests in the class to help students understand the role from multiple perspectives.

Innovating the Built Environment: How the Law Responds to Disruptive Change
2 credits
Faculty: Peter Smirniotopoulos (author of Real Estate Law: Fundamentals for The Development Process)

  • June 1-10 M/W - 7-9:15 p.m.
  • No classes June 15-19
  • June 22-26 M/T/W/Th - 7-9:15 p.m.
  • One all-day session on Saturday, June 13, 2020

This course examines the tensions between technology/innovation/entrepreneurship and complying with the law by guiding students through the exploration of four public policy issues impacting the built environment. Policy issues in the 2020 June course are:

  • When Worlds Collide: How an 86-Year Old Federal Law (The Securities Act of 1933) Exposed the Flaws in WeWork's Innovative Business Model 
  • Is there Still a Place in Seattle for the Single-Family Detached Housing Typology, Given the Acute Need for Affordable Housing?
  • What Would it Take to Connect All of Greater Seattle's Neighborhoods with Walking and Biking Trails? 
  • Is the "Tokenization of Real Estate" the Next Great Leap Forward to Make Homeownership More Appealing to Millennials and Gen Z's?


The Immersion Course meets Tuesday, May 26, through Saturday, May 30, 2020 (all day and some late evenings) (as well, attendance Friday June 5 at the 3d Annual Symposium on Innovation and Technology—AI 20/20: Envisioning Our Future with Artificial Intelligence & Data Science).

Additional 2-credit courses will be offered June 2-27, 2020. Please see each class for specific schedule.


  • The courses are open to any student in good standing currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school.
  • Both Seattle University and visitor law students who are full-time (those not working 20 or more hours a week in June) may take the 3-credit Immersion course and 1 or 2 of the 4 institute courses in June. Such full-time students may also take one of the other Seattle University law school summer courses that extend beyond the month of June.
  • Both Seattle University and visitor law students who are part-time (those working 20 or more hours a week in June) may take the 3-credit Immersion course and only 1 of the 4 institute courses in June. Such part-time students may also take one of the other Seattle University law school summer courses that extend beyond the month of June (with the exception that Seattle U part-time students may not take the summer Professional Responsibility course)

Staying in Seattle

  • The city of Seattle is an incredible place to spend the summer. Learn more here.
  • In addition to taking classes at the Summer SITIE Institute, you can extend your stay to take additional Seattle U Law summer courses and enjoy the entirety of summer in the Pacific Northwest, with abundant outdoor recreation and urban opportunities.


The five institute courses will be taught by legal experts, drawn from both Seattle University’s full-time faculty, visiting faculty, and leading legal practitioners in specific areas.

Steven Bender

Associate Dean Steven Bender is a national academic leader whose research interests coincide with his classroom teaching, which encompasses subjects as diverse as Business Associations, Property, Real Estate Transactions, UCC Secured Transactions, Contracts, and Latina/os and the Law. Read more.

Mark Chinen

Before he began teaching, Professor Mark Chinen practiced in the areas of international trade, banking and corporate and securities law. He teaches contracts and courses in international law and writes on various aspects of international law, particularly international governance, theology and international law. Read more.

Jennifer Dumas

Jennifer is Senior Legal Counsel at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, where she is the executive leader in charge of all legal affairs. She brings nearly twenty years of solving complex legal issues for high growth, disruptive companies to her role as AI2's principal legal advisor. Read more.

Maja Larson

As general counsel for the Allen Institute, since 2007 Maja has been responsible for the legal, risk management and crisis management functions, and has managed grants administration, research compliance and human resources. Read more.

Peter Smirniotopoulos

A nationally recognized development strategist, urban theorist, educator, and award-winning author, Peter has over 37 years of hands-on experience in corporate finance, deal structuring, and transactional analysis; public finance and other government funding sources and strategies; public outreach, advocacy, strategic thinking, and organizational analysis. Read more.

Paul Swegle

Paul has served as general counsel to a dozen companies across several industries, including fintech, financial services, health and medical devices, health and medical data management, e-commerce and natural resources, guiding them across most areas of law and regulation. Read more.

Steve Tapia

Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Steve Tapia has practiced entertainment, media and intellectual property law for over 30 years. As in-house counsel for DIRECTV Sports Networks, he was the primary contract negotiator for programming and distribution partnerships with the Seattle Mariners and many other teams and conferences. He also served as a Senior Attorney in Microsoft’s Law and Corporate Affairs department, where he advised on open source licensing strategies and policies. Read more.

Application/enrollment procedures

Seattle U Law students
Seattle U students can begin to register for SITIE courses at their summer registration time (March 2020). Registration will remain open on a space-available basis until classes begin.

Visiting students
All students from other law schools must complete and submit the following:

  • Application form
  • Letter of good standing from dean or registrar of your home law school

Drop policy
The following applies only to the Immersion Course. 2020 dates to be added shortly.

  • May 15, 2019 – Deadline to receive a full tuition refund
  • May 16-28, 2019 – Full tuition refund minus a $200 late-drop fee
  • May 29, 2019 – Tuition refunds will not be issued on or after this date (except for extenuating circumstances)

All other SITIE courses are subject to Seattle University’s standard summer refund policy. See the Student Handbook (page 43) for details.